"Severe shortages of skilled trades are persisting across all regions of Australia in 2022," stated HIA Economist, Tom Devitt.
Friday, 29th July 2022
The HIA Trades Report released today provides a quarterly review of the availability of skilled trades and any demand pressures on trades operating in the residential building industry.
“The HIA Trades Availability Index declined from -0.90 to -0.92 in the June 2022 quarter. Any number below zero indicating a skills shortage and this result reflects the most significant shortage since the inception of the report in 2003,” added Mr Devitt.
“As at March 2022, there were over 100,000 houses under construction across Australia, a record high and almost 80 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels.
“This elevated demand, and constraints in access to skilled trades from overseas, have resulted in this acute shortage of skilled trades.
“In recent months, we have seen improvements in several international and domestic supply chain indicators, including an easing in shipping container, oil and timber prices. Central banks around the world are also increasing interest rates to reduce demand and combat inflation, and households are shifting their spending back towards services like travel, entertainment and dining out.
“Labour constraints are proving more persistent. Job vacancies are at record highs in every industry and shortages of skilled trades are likely to persist into 2023, if COVID-related staff absences continue, and overseas workers only slowly return.
“The Trades Availability Index deteriorated further in New South Wales and Western Australia across both capitals and regions. Adelaide also saw a further deterioration.
“Despite the marginal improvement in the Index for some skilled trades in some regions, shortages remain close to the worst levels on record. A more significant and sustained improvement would be necessary before concluding that the shortage of skilled trades had eased,” concluded Mr Devitt.
The most acute shortages of trades in the June 2022 quarter were seen in regional WA and Adelaide, with Index readings of -1.13 and -1.11 respectively. Melbourne had the least acute shortages, at -0.75 per cent, followed by regional Queensland (-0.80) and Brisbane (-0.86).
All trades remain in short supply and almost all saw a worsening of these shortages in the June 2022 quarter. The most acute shortages existed in bricklaying (-1.51), carpentry (-1.34) and roofing (-1.26). The least acute shortage was in electrical trades (-0.38).
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