During the Great Recession, the construction trades in south-central Idaho were hit hard. During this time, workers left the construction industry and in some cases never returned, Rothweiler said.
“Their production is not able to meet demand,” he said.
In every year since 2012, except one, the City of Twin Falls has issued more single-family housing permits than the previous year.
Last year was one of the highest single-family building permit years on record, he said.
James Wallace, president of the Magic Valley Builders Association, said the labor pool hasn’t changed much in the past 10 years. The average age of a construction worker is 41, according to statistics from the United States Bureau of Labor.
“They’re mostly the same framers, mostly the same electricians, and most like me, just getting older,” Wallace said.
The third edition of the Magic Valley Construction Expo took place in March. The event was launched to encourage high school students to join the construction industry. It is hosted by the Magic Valley Builders Association, the College of Southern Idaho Workforce Development and Training, the City of Twin Falls, and the Southern Idaho Economic Development.
The cost of money, labor, materials, and land are the four factors that determine the final cost of a home. Right now, the only inexpensive factor is money due to low interest rates, Wallace said.