Worker shortage is driving up the cost of constuction

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Labor shortages are driving up building costs. Photo: Sipse

Mérida, Yucatán — A high demand for albañiles, the masons whose skill is essential in any construction project, has raised the price of labor between 10 and 15 percent.

Contractors have to “fight” to find qualified construction workers, said Armando Valencia Castillo, president of the National Chamber of the Development and Housing Promotion Industry (Canadevi), which supplied the statistic.

The search for albañiles includes workers of varying skill, from basic laborers, or peones;  to master masons, or maestros; and medias cucharas, who assist the maestros.

“There is a shortage definitely, so we see ourselves a little suffocated by this situation,” said Valencia Castillo.

The leader said he wants to avoid bringing in labor from other states, and give preference to Yucatecan labor. Rising salaries have, in fact, kept workers home who would have typically crossed the state line to Quintana Roo, where construction is ongoing.

“What has been happening is that due to the salary that is provided, the majority who previously traveled to Quintana Roo is now staying because there is more work and better pay,” he said.

Housing construction has continued in Yucatán with no sign of a slowdown, he added.

At least 62 new subdivisions, with 39,000 homes, are being built this year, mostly in the north, said Aquiles González Chacón, president of the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals (AMPI).

“Mérida today is one of the five municipalities in Mexico with the largest amounts of investment,” said González Chacón.

Source: Sipse

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