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Construction industry suffers greatest job losses

Posted July 24, 2009

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— Unemployment rose in June across the Triangle. In Raleigh-Cary, unemployment stood at 9.1 percent. In Durham-Chapel Hill, it was 8.4 percent. Those rates are the highest since the state Employment Security Council has been keeping records, led by drops in construction and related services, manufacturing and professional and business services.

The Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area lost more than 15,000 jobs -- about 9,200 of them in construction -- in the past year, according to ESC data.

Construction industry lost most jobs in Raleigh-Cary Construction industry is Raleigh's job-loss leader

Chris Raneri, of Cary, counts himself among the casualties of the recession. Raneri was a construction project manager for six years. He worked for a national builder until he was let go in February.

“I managed the full gamut – from raw land, all the way up to the finished project,” he said.

Now he is volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.

“I have no bitterness,” he said. “It’s a sign of the times.”

David Clegg, deputy chairman of the state Employment Security Commission, said the Triangle is still better off than other parts of the state. Although construction has been hard hit, the diversity of the Triangle economy keeps the news from being much worse, he said.

Fayetteville saw 9.4 percent unemployment and Rocky Mount recorded 14.4 percent.

“The severity of this recession cannot be underestimated,” Clegg said.

Dr. Michael Walden, an economist at North Carolina State University, said the new numbers are grim reminders of just how bad the recession is. “The fact that unemployment rates in the Triangle metropolitan areas have hit record rates tells us how severe this recession has been,” he said.

“Even the high-tech Triangle, which many think has the best economic structure for the 21st century, now has an unemployment rate which many thought was not possible.”

Walden predicted that unemployment in the Triangle would continue to climb through the rest of the calendar year before a slow recovery begins in 2010.

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  • BeenHereSince67 Jul 24, 2009

    Maybe when the work comes back for this industry, and it will, AMERICAN out-of-work tradespeople will be the ones to get the jobs and not the thousands of illegal immigrants who have tried very successfully to take over this type of work from our blue collar workers. Do ANY of you think that the builders and developers who benefited from this cheap illegal labor passed on the savings to the home buyers? I think NOT!! I have several very good friends who have been living on the ragged edge of survival for years due to the influx of illegal immigrants. But Hey, who cares about them right? ... They're just rednecks, Right? ... WRONG!!
    They Are Americans!

  • A confused citizen Jul 24, 2009

    The construction industry already indirectly got their 'bailout.' Remember in April Gov. Perdue announced a retraining program in conjunction with community colleges for those that were unemployed. The 12 in 6 program allows and individual to be training in Masonry/Tile Cutting, Plumbing, Carpentry & HVAC/Industrial Maintenance. Anyone see a problem with this program considering the hit the construction industry has taken?

  • Jay4 Jul 24, 2009

    The bailout money is going to the likes of Goldman Sachs and Acorn......

  • colliedave Jul 24, 2009

    the "no growth" people finally got their wishes

  • ThinkChick Jul 24, 2009

    Dude...where is the bailout money??