About That "Construction Worker Shortage"

Now that the house "recovery" myth is blowing up before everyone's eyes, the confidence spin crew, headed by the Fed itself, is stuggling to come up with any shred of evidence that despite everything seen so far, despite spiking mortgage rates, despite the scramble to cash out of all "homes for rent" ventures, despite the rush to cash out of major rental, and housing, investments by the smartest money of all, there is still room for hope. Today's hook came courtesy of the Beige Book, which otherwise was lethargically boring (same old "modest to moderate growth"), was promptly used to serve as an theme of "construction worker shortages" across areas of the country, and thus to indicate that there is simply too much demand, and not enough supply, resulting in not enough transactions.

Some of the quotes "justifying this argument were the following:

  • In some areas, demand for new homes substantially exceeded the supply, and shortages of construction workers held back the pace of new home construction activity.
  • Several Districts noted constraints on the construction of single-family homes. San Francisco pointed to shortages of construction workers.
  • Construction-related contacts noted some labor shortages, although there were no reports of wage pressures

Well, if that is true, that means that the level of construction workers already employed should be near or approaching previous capacity levels, right? Let's take a look shall we:

Uhm. Oops.

So.... what were we talking about again?