NewsBreak! Articles > December 14, 2011


Construction jobs in Wilmington were down a whopping 21 percent in October compared to the same month in 2010. That's 1,900 jobs according to a national report released last week from AGC of America.

Some good news: WHQR has reported that after a deep slump across the Carolinas, commercial construction in all of New Hanover County might be improving. Wilmington residents are hearing the sounds of road repair on Third Street, along with construction around town. Crews on Grace Street are drilling holes in preparation for the foundation of a new hotel.

Despite some positive construction signs, Dave Simpson, NC Building Director for Carolinas AGC, said, "Contractors in the New Hanover County area are telling me that they're still hurting from a lack of construction work there."

Money spent on construction within city limits did decline between October 2010 and October 2011, falling from 10 million down to nearly 6.5 million. But they spiked last month at nearly 19 million.

New Hanover County Development Director Tony Roberts is seeing a rise in those numbers for projects across the county as a whole. "We had a significant increase in November over this same time last year, actually about a 119 percent increase; so, that was really big."  Roberts says that last month, the county issued permits for projects totaling more than 53 million dollars compared to 24 million in November 2010.

Simpson says there's a lag time between issuing those permits and actually getting hardhats and boots on the ground. "If there's a 119 percent increase in dollars spent this year, then I would optimistically hope that we would have a corresponding increase of the number of employees in Wilmington for the coming year."

Simpson also believes that employment numbers declined as work was completed on the downtown convention center late last year, which brought in hundreds of jobs at its peak.
Click here to hear/read more from WHQR radio station in Wilmington.