Construction spending is down, and new home building is way down. For construction supply companies like Louisiana-Pacific, adding it all up has equaled employee layoffs.
Monday, LP Corporation announced temporary layoffs for 91 workers at its laminated veneer lumber mill off Route 421.
Plantation Building Corporation owner David Spetrino said he’s surprised the LP announcement didn’t happen sooner. “Especially framing lumber and structural lumber would have fallen off at least a year-and-a-half to two years ago. It’s probably more of a testament to them doing what they can to keep their employees in check and stay in play.”
LP is the second major construction supply company in New Hanover County to recently fall victim to a slumping housing market. National Gypsum, a dry wall company on Carolina Beach Road laid off more than sixty people when it closed last month.
We’re not alone here in this area. Last year, national construction spending fell by a record 5.1 percent. New home construction decreased by nearly 30 percent during the same period.
Both LP and National Gypsum say they will re-hire the laid off employees when the housing market turns around.
For the employees of National Gypsum, Louisiana-Pacific, and their families, it’s a challenge that now hits too close to home.
Spetrino said while new home construction is way down, high-end custom homes are the exception, and even though many people aren’t building from scratch, he’s seen an increase in renovation projects.
Story summary image
More: continued here