Domestic sawmill production has failed to keep pace with gains in new home demand since the middle of 2020, and the problem continues to persist, fueling rising lumber prices.
Mills noted they continue to face labor challenges, even though the number of workers has increased in the last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, gaining 2,100 (2.4%) from October 2020-October 2021.
In that same time, residential construction added 118,500 jobs, a 4% gain.
Total sawmill output increased 3.3% from 2019’s numbers to 2020 and continued to an increase of 3.1% through September 2021.
The increases, however, have failed to keep pace with residential construction demand, and the difference is a key contributor to the resurgence of lumber price increases. (Source)