Developers & Architects Turn to Prefab Construction to Solve labor Shortage
A persistent labor shortage of construction workers across the U.S. is prompting some of the nation’s largest home builders to experiment with a model they once derided: factory production. In the U.S., only about 2% to 3% of homes built in recent years are classified as modular, according to the Census. In other parts of the world, that share is significantly higher. More than a third of all homes in Austria and Sweden are built using off-site methods, and in Japan more than three-quarters of all detached homes are pre-assembled, according to industry research.
But throughout the U.S. housing recovery, builders have suffered from a shortage of skilled labor, making it tough for them to keep up with demand. The number of workers employed in the industry this year is nearly 30% below the peak in 2006 and more than 15% below the average during the 2000s, according to the Labor Department.
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