How essential is demonstrated here, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Nearly 3/4 of all employees in the home building industry work for subcontractors. Of the 2.231 people employed in the home building industry, 1.584 million (71%) work for subcontractors, not for builders.
On average, 25 subcontractors were used to build a single-family detached house in 2012 (according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index July 2012 special questions). Larger builders are more dependent on subcontractors to build their homes. On average, builders who built more than 25 units used 32 subcontractors during 2012, compared to 23 for builders who built less than 25 units .
Roofing is one of the trades in which builders are most likely to use a subcontractor. According to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Index, 86% of builders always use a sub for roofing and only 4% never do. In only twelve other trades are builders more likely to use a subcontractor.