ask the Trump administration what they are going to
do in two months or three months,” he says.
The homebuilding industry also may want to question the current presidential administration on its immigration policies. Both the crackdown on illegal
immigrants and proposed changes to a more skill-based immigration policy can have large impacts on
the labor headwind facing builders.
About 25 percent of construction laborers are not
native-born Americans, according to Dietz. “Any policy
that would slow immigration,” he adds, “would not help
Dietz notes that immigration had already slowed
during and after the housing crash, independent of any
government policies. “It was due to the Great Recession itself and the increasing unemployment,” he says.
Dietz says the key labor challenge for the industry is
addressing general turnover and an aging workforce
by recruiting a new generation of construction workers and finding ways to substitute capital for labor
through new technologies or construction methods.