Construction staffing accelerates amid increase in home remodelings

02.24.2012


The staffing of construction jobs has been accelerating in the United States, due to people remodeling their homes.
The staffing of construction jobs has been accelerating in the United States, due to people remodeling their homes.

The staffing of construction jobs has been accelerating in the United States, due to people remodeling their homes.

Preliminary data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on February 3 indicates that the number of people employed by the residential remodeling sector surged 5.8 percent in December to reach 250,700, according to Bloomberg. This was the most rapid employment growth in the sector since December 2006.

Kermit Baker, who serves as chief economist for the American Institute of Architects and as a senior fellow for Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, told the media outlet that the market for home improvements is on the upswing, supported by warming temperatures and a desire for simple upgrades like kitchen renovations.

The opinion that the market for home improvements is expanding was supported by better-than-expected fourth quarter results for Home Depot Inc., the media outlet reports. Executive vice president of merchandising Craig Menear stated on a conference call that demand is rising in the company's corporate accounts. The executive predicted that home improvement will probably experience the largest upswing in activity since 2006. Expenditure on projects designed to upgrade people's homes dropped 20 percent during a three-year housing slump.

The proliferation of these construction jobs can be seen in Maine, where Cianbro Corp. wants to hire 150 employees, according to Bangor Daily News. The company is seeking electricians and helpers who are licensed to work in Maine. These workers would be delegated to work on properties existing in Auburn, Bangor and Brewer.

The company is also looking to hire pipe fitters, millwrights and pipe welders to work in Woodland and the Greator Bangor area, the media outlet reports. Riggers and structural iron workers are being sought to work in Brewer and Bangor.

Cianbro President Andi Vigue told the news source that the company is backed up with projects and is therefore hiring vigorously. In addition to the aforementioned positions, the company is seeking people to serve as project controllers, electrical engineers, estimators and mechanical engineers.

The firm will be working on the construction of a new arena in Bangor, according to television station WABI.

"The arena we've had for awhile but that is one of the projects we have. We have some work at the Eastern Maine Medical Center," Vigue told the news source. "We have a project down at Verso in Bucksport. We have numerous shutdowns across the state this spring. Most of them are paper related. We have some projects in Portland that will be announced soon."


The firm indicated that it has a strong demand for workers, as it has developed its largest project backlog in its 63 years of doing business, according to The Associated Press.

The company is holding this latest round of hiring after taking on an additional 250 workers last fall. Vigue is aware that Maine's economy is still facing challenges, but this new wave of hiring could help the region turn the corner, television station WABI reports.

"We're just very bullish on the state and the opportunities it provides," he told the media outlet. "And we'd like to demonstrate to other companies that this is a great place to work and this is a great place to invest and if we can convince other people of that then all of us will succeed."

Vigue also indicated that his firm has been a major employer of people holding engineering degrees from the University of Maine, according to the media outlet. He is also looking to hire various managers.