Homeowners rebuilding after hurricanes in Florida and Texas and wildfires in California will face longer wait times and higher costs as a long-simmering shortage of construction workers nears a crisis stage.

The number of unfilled construction jobs has reached its highest point since 2007, before the Great Recession, and it’s likely to spike even higher in the months ahead in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, said Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders.

A tougher government stance on immigrant labor is a factor in the shortage of qualified workers, but Brian Binke, president and CEO of Detroit-based construction-industry recruiter The Birmingham Group, sees the U.S. education system as a more important culprit.

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