Posted by: nedpelger | October 3, 2009

Unemployment at 17.1% for Construction

With a 1.5M US construction jobs lost in the past 2 years, ENR just reported that the September 2009 unemployment level is 17.1%. The August level was 16.5%, so that’s a substantial jump.

The federal government claims the Stimulus funds have saved or created 122,000 construction jobs. So the Stimulus helps a bit, but what we really need is a functioning economy that demands facilities in which to live, work and pray.

In my own microcosm, we are busy and work keeps coming in. I’ve anticipated a big economic downturn for the last 20 years and tried to be prepared for it. While studying the Great Depression, I realized that the 20% unemployment rate meant 80% were still working. I determined that I wanted to position myself to be one of the working 80%.

To try to accomplish that goal, I’ve run my business with 3 simple guidelines:

  1. Keep overhead low, pay attention to costs all the time
  2. Stay near the bleeding edge with technology innovation
  3. Deliver fantastic customer service

Of course I fail at all those from time to time, but strive to keep them in focus.

If you are out of work, don’t expect a quick fix turnaround. It is a tough economy and construction recovers slowly. Time will pass, though, and things will get better. Remember the words from a wise old contractor, “When it’s good, it’s never as good as you think, and when it’s bad, it’s never as bad as you think.”

Start now to position yourself for a better future. Read some challenging books, go to the library, develop a plan for becoming who you are capable of being.

Then take some time to consider some people who are truly suffering, like the flood survivors in Philipines. A couple photos I found made me smile as I thought about people’s ability to smile in the face of struggle.


By the way, why is it always boys that do things like crawl up on the power lines?


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