by Jim Kollaer on Thu, 08/02/2012 - 10:17am
Both sides of the opening line of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities can easily be applied to the construction industry of today.
It is the worst of times: With unemployment in the country still over 8% and in construction over 13%, it can easily be tagged as the worst of times. Not so bad as a few years ago when the unemployment in the industry was close to 20%, but still tough. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will release the new employment numbers this Friday, and we at Construction Citizen predict that the numbers will remain anemic even in what should be the height of the construction season of 2012.
Now the other view.
It is the best of times: With employment in the country close to 92% and in construction close to 87%,
it can hardly be tagged as the worst of times, maybe not the best of times, but certainly not the worst. The BLS will release the latest employment numbers this Friday and we at Construction Citizen predict that employment will still be in the 88% neighborhood. Generally the numbers are in a holding period that we predicted while everyone is waiting to see what happens in the November Presidential election.
I overheard one businessman in the real estate industry say the other day, “I am so disappointed in the quality of the debate and the personal attacks that I just want it to be over so that I can decide what to do with my business to meet the demand that I know is out there for 2013.”
I am reminded of the old Monty Python line, “And now for something completely different!” While the industry in some parts of the country is languishing, there are reported skilled labor shortages in states like Arizona. The only place that really matters when you come down to it is how YOUR business is doing in this time of change.
Which way do you see the industry today – the best of times, the worst of times, or something completely different? Take a minute to share your view.