"He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
Matthew 25:33

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Survey paints grim picture for Minnesota’s building industry

Minnesota’s construction industry is still squinting to see the light at the end of its long, dark tunnel.

From July 2008 through July of this year, Minnesota lost 17,200 construction jobs, the most in the five-state area, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Wisconsin and Iowa lost 13,400 and 8,400 construction jobs, respectively. North Dakota lost 900 jobs. Only South Dakota was in positive territory, with 600 construction jobs gained in the July-to-July period.

Comments from the survey include:

  • “We don’t see an upswing in electrical construction work at this time, and we will be lucky to keep our doors open.”
  • “The Minnesota market remains one of the slowest in the country and we have not seen any significant [effect] from the few stimulus dollars that have been put into place.”
  • “… It is the end of July and there is no work in sight, let alone anything for this winter.”
  • “We are in a struggle to survive. If commercial construction does not pick up, I fear many contractors like us will fail.”
  • “Because of the extremely depressed private sector, we have switched to bidding almost 100 percent public sector projects. Our backlog is the lowest it has been in many years. If we don’t add work to our lists, we will be laying off many of our long-time employees.”
  • “We have not seen this poor of a commercial construction market in 50-plus years.”
  • “We are union and we can’t compete. Our pricing had to come down to the point of four years ago. The industry, especially residential, is out of control with regard to cut-throat bidding.”
Read the rest of the story here...

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