Posted by: nedpelger | February 9, 2010

Unemployment Drops under 10% but nears 25% in Construction

A recovery of sorts seems to be happening in America. With unemployment dipping below 10% for the first time in months and factory orders increasing at a faster than expected rate, we have some reasons for cheer. This surge in factory orders bodes well for an economic turnaround.

Construction, on the other hand, acts as a lagging indicator and the pain we now feel doesn’t seem likely to get better in the short term. ENR noted that the construction industry unemployment rate hit 24.7% in January, the highest since February 1983.

I was standing in an unemployment line for a couple of weeks just about exactly 26 years ago and it was unpleasant. For those of you in that situation, I offer some of the best wisdom about construction industry trends I’ve ever heard:

“When things are good, they aren’t nearly as good as they seem and when things are bad, they aren’t nearly as bad as they seem.”

Finally, keep in mind that everything is relative and depends on your attitude. This Russian proverb sums it up:

“The church is near,
but the road is icy.
The bar is far away,
but I will walk carefully.”

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