Lumber manufacturers say rising prices is due to worker shortage

Local News

MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB)–Throughout the pandemic, the price of lumber has skyrocketed. Its become a hot commodity in recent months with the demand growing alongside the price. Local manufacturers say it’s an issue of supply and demand. Contrary to popular belief, there is enough lumber to go around in Northwest Florida.

“I would say some of the more premium products have tripled in price,” said Ross Jackson, the General Manager of Spanish Trail Lumber.

Jackson says there isn’t exactly a shortage of lumber but a shortage of employees.

“The lumber industry is pretty good about killing a good market, but they’ve been unable to ramp up productions. Particularly here it’s a shortage of workers,” Jackson said.

Spanish Trail has been down 6 employees since the pandemic began. Fewer workers mean less lumber being manufactured for sale.

“I’m hearing it from other mill managers that they’d like to add a second shift, they’d like to add more hours but they just can’t find workers,” Jackson said.

Jackson says, in his case, the product they do have is flying off the shelves.

“We’re booked out through the end of July, we couldn’t sell a stick for delivery before July,” Jackson said.

The demand for lumber is what’s jacking up the price. This is impacting builders and homeowners alike.

“We don’t really like these high prices because I think there’s a train wreck coming up at the end of this. Eventually, the industry will pick up in other parts of the world and we will oversupply,” Jackson said.

To export more lumber, Jackson says workers must be encouraged to rejoin the workforce.

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