Thursday, August 10, 2006

ripple effect

guter überblick über die auswirkungen auf die auswirkungen auf den arbeistmarkt und vor allem auc auf die bezahlung.
dank an mish

Region feels ripples from home building slowdown
Slowdown in building is rocking small contractors as they scramble for jobs

Southwest Florida's cooling housing market is starting to pinch people whose livelihoods are tied to housing.Many workers like cabinet-maker Jorge Ayo face the difficult choice of leaving the region for greener pastures, doubling up on contracts or moving to other job sectors to find stable work.

Three months ago, Ayo says he earned $2,000 a week with one customer, Timberlake Cabinets. Now, even with two more accounts, he makes only half his previous income."Three months ago, I worked every day. Now the big houses are gone," he said. "I have a condo here and a town home there, and I get a few remodels here and there. And sometimes, I have no work."

During the boom, building material suppliers, manufacturers and home builders ramped up to meet unprecedented demand. Thousands of workers moved here from around the nation.

But now, for the first time in six years, fewer construction permits are being issued -- 10 percent fewer nationwide during the second quarter, 25 percent fewer in Sarasota and Manatee counties.The most recent drops have been even more dramatic. In June, Sarasota County issued 222 permits, down 64 percent from 619 in the same month last year. Manatee issued 301 permits, down 39 percent from 495 a year ago.

Workers, builders, agents, sellers and buyers are caught in the middle of this adjustment. Because of its economic dependence on construction, Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties are more vulnerable.

Building slumps mean less revenue for suppliers and manufacturers. It also means less retail sales, restaurant revenues, home improvements and other purchases, Morgan said.

"It's the truest example of the trickle-down economy," said Paul Morgan, a spokesman for the North Port Contractors Association. "Anything that affects construction affects all of us."

The slowdown will mean an eventual return to a normal market. Within the next year, the surplus homes will be bought at discounted prices, and some time after that the market will bounce back, experts say.

But in the short term, they expect some suppliers, manufacturers and subcontractors to take a hit."

You will start to see smaller subcontractors begin to close up, adding more unemployment in the market, which might have an effect on labor cost," said Mike Timmerman, Hanley Wood's managing director of Florida.

Adjusting market

Smaller construction-heavy communities such as North Port, Nokomis, Osprey and East Manatee will likely be hit first and hardest.North Port's construction permitting activity speaks to that. A year ago, 300 to 400 permits were granted each month in the city. That number has shrunk to 65.

Once the inventory is sold off, Morgan expects building will rebound, but he doesn't expect the market to bounce back to the levels of 2004-05.


"The constant state of labor shortages in the industry will be assuaged. Will it affect pay? Maybe, maybe not," Dienhart said.James Paulk, a 56-year-old pipe installation foreman with Tampa-based Woodruff and Sons Inc. has spent 30 years in the construction industry and the past 25 at Woodruff. He recalled more precipitous drops in work, particularly during the recessions of the 1980s."There were tough times in the '80s when contractors were stretching for 30 hours a week and we were still working 50," he said.

He does not expect any imminent construction slowdown to be anything like that."Things could change overnight, but we've been pretty fortunate so far, and I would be surprised," he said.



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Blogger jmf said...

thanks a lot.

here in germany we are totally clueless what madness is going on in the us

3:04 AM  

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