by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | August 7, 2017 5:27 pm
President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigrants is having a positive effect on wages for construction workers. They are going up. That’s good news. But there is always a side effect on such things. As construction wages go up, so does the cost of homes. And you’ll have to wait longer for your home as well because there are fewer workers. You have to weigh the good with the bad here. That’s just how economics works. Construction companies are now admitting they are having to pay workers more to attract the talent they need.
I would bet that this is providing more work for unions out there. That’s usually where the American labor gravitates. It’s the illegal immigrants that are easier and cheaper to come by for contractors and many of them are now nowhere to be found. They either self-deport or are deported by ICE. This means employing actual Americans and they cost a lot more. Labor is 60 percent of the cost of a home. It’s not hard to do the math here.
From Fox News:
“Half of the workers in construction in Texas are undocumented,” Marek said. “We do hear that there are a lot of undocumented workers that are leaving the state, going to other states that don’t have the anti-immigrant sentiment and many of them are going back to Mexico.”
Ted Wilson with Residential Strategies, Inc. has run the numbers.
“We’ve seen direct construction costs climb by over 30 percent,” Wilson said, “and a lot of that is directly attributed to what builders are having to pay their subs and trades in wages.”×
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Meaning, with so few workers out there, construction companies have had to pay more to attract them, which adds to the cost of a home.
“You know, when you figure that 60 percent of the cost of a job is labor,” Marek said, “that’s a lot of money.”
Wilson said companies have had to get by with fewer workers, so in addition to paying more for a house, you’ll likely have to wait longer for it to get built.
“Instead of 12 guys coming out to frame your house, you get four guys,” he said.
This is why big business was against cutting illegal immigration. They wanted the cheap labor force. Getting rid of them hurts their bottom line. Not only is Trump going after illegal immigrants, he’s moving to cut legal immigration in half. Both are great moves and I support them. I’m also considering purchasing a home and now I know it’s going to cost me quite a bit more. In the end, I still think this is the right thing to do, regardless of the costs.
Under the new, proposed RAISE Act, overall legal immigration in the first year would be reduced by 41 percent and in 10 years, immigration would be reduced by 50 percent. It would also prioritize legal immigrants who can speak English and have skills needed for the current U.S. economy. This would be done using a merit point system, which is modeled after Canada and Australia’s systems.
There is a construction labor shortage here in the U.S. right now. If they can fill the jobs, the economy will boom even further. We have gone from a lack of jobs under Obama, to not enough people to fill jobs under Trump. It’s a stark contrast.
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