In my home office in San Francisco, I could go and take a walk within a four-block radius and see at least four different building projects. About two blocks away from my home is a five-story structure that will offer retail space on the ground level and residential living space on the next four floors. Go down another two blocks and you will see the beginnings of a new Whole Foods grocery story.
And this is all just within reach of my house. A few weeks ago I was coming home from being out of town and crossed the Bay Bridge back into the city. The bridge gives you a clear view of downtown and all the towering buildings. From this vantage point it is difficult not to see all of the cranes in the distance (at least three or four) putting up new buildings. One of the buildings is the new Twitter headquarters on Market Street.
I know that San Francisco is very different from many other metropolitan cities, but if you didn’t know any better you would look around and wonder how there could be a construction slow down in this country. Well, let’s take a look at some numbers from the Associated General Contractors of America. In a press release issued on Nov. 2, the AGC reported that the construction industry added 17,000 new jobs in October. Also, the construction unemployment rate fell to 11.4 percent.
On Oct. 30, AGC released the cities with the highest increase in construction employment from September 2011 to September 2012. San Francisco was not at the top of the list. It did have a 4 percent gain in construction from one year to the next, but it was Pascagoula, Miss., that had a 31 percent construction employment gain over the last year.
So how are things going in your city and for your business? Are you seeing more construction and are you taking advantage of it by offering your sheet metal and HVAC services? We’d love to see how our readers are doing.