So there is one of those statistics in the Bulletin that just doesn't compute. Housing starts are down 55% for the first four full months of the year. If you were going to build in the prime building months of spring and early summer, this in when you'd be getting the permits. You'd think there would be some layoffs going on, but not a peep.
So I can make a few guesses. One, most obvious, that there was so much building already in the works that it will take a long time for it to be cleared away. Two, would be that the contractors and sub-contractors had so much on the plate, that even a 55% drop doesn't take up the slack. (Every story of a contractor not showing up or showing up really late is probably a symptom of "over-promising", because the construction folk don't want to be left without work.)
Three, hours are being cut across the board, but again, because there was so much overtime going on, it's still not cutting much into full-time. Fourth, that there might be a fair amount of under the table work that is being cut even as we speak. Fifth, some of the construction folk are moving into commercial building, which doesn't seem to have slowed down at all. Sixth, it's a lagging indicator and there are in fact layoffs happening. (Though I haven't heard of any.)
I have a contractor friend who is starting a new project. (I won't comment on the wisdom of that.) He said that he is actually getting calls from sub-contractors instead of having to chase them down.
People keep talking about a 'needed correction.' Well, to me, a correction is 10%, or maybe 20%, or conceivably 30%.
55% ? For four months? That a hard statistic to get around.
5 days ago