Local construction companies say workers are hard to find - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Local construction companies say workers are hard to find

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - As more homes spring up around the Grand Strand every day, the housing market seems to be closer to where it was years ago. According to local contractors, there's one difference.

Now there is plenty of work, but no one to do it - it's a problem Nations Homes president Jeff Skelley with Nations Homes says started back in the recession. 

"Times got tough and the building business basically stopped,” Skelley explained. “Most of them left." 

Now years later, those workers don't seem to be coming back. National studies show unemployment in the construction industry is now the worst it's been since 2001. 

Skelley says the demand for the homes is there, but finding the skilled workers to build them is a challenge.

“Just recently they’ve been getting spread out,” Skelley said.” We’ve noticed that they’re splitting up crews. Instead of a six-man crew, they’ll have a three-man crew on two jobs.” 

Skelley says his business is, for the most part, fine, but he sees the most issues with smaller companies. He is hopeful the market will turn around, but says if it doesn't, it could mean one thing for the home buyer. 

“I think that if you don’t watch out, we could have a quality issue on our hands, because it’s getting spread out. Some people may start hiring people that aren’t as qualified as you would like to see.”

Local experts are hopeful this will all turn around. One says he believes more workers will start coming back to the industry once they believe the demand has come back to where it was years ago.

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