ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Business and Employment»
  • Employment & Jobs

Why Construction Jobs Don't Pay

Updated on February 1, 2012

under (paid) construction

Construction pay less now than ten years ago

If you are a young person considering getting into the construction industry, this is one article that you need to read before you make up your mind. Don't get me wrong, working with your hands is a honorable living and I think everyone needs to experience real physical labor, this is to appreciate just how difficult it can be. That being said.

Fifteen years ago I started a house framing company in the north Georgia area. The economy was good and building was a growing industry. I hired people with knowledge to help me and paid them a decent living wage at the time. In 1995 I was paying a lead carpenter between twenty and twenty five dollars and hour and hard working laborers and nail drivers were making at a minimum thirteen to fourteen an hour depending on skill level. This was hard work, and you earn every dime you made, but you made good money, got paid on Friday and everyone did well. As a framing contractor my rates were usually between $4.00 and $4.50 a square foot, plus extra, extras being; fireplace chases above two stories, specialty stairs and other types of work that would require extended amounts of time to complete. Like I said, this was in 1995, and where I lived at the time, we didn't have to compete with illegal alien labor.

Fast forward to 2012. The going rate to frame a house in the depressed market is now around $1.75 to $2.00 a square foot. The illegal labor that imported itself into the market during the housing boom has now depressed the labor market to the point where they are the only ones working. The average pay for a lead carpenter that can only speak English is $15 to $16 dollars an hour and the grunts are making around $8.00 an hour.The depressed labor rates, especially here in the south, have builders in the area wondering why they would every pay anyone more? They can reduce the cost of the home, without reducing their profit, either in margin or dollar amounts.

We use to look at the trade as a way to provide for our families and make a halfway decent living. Now, it is just a day cash job for many, especially for the young people that need money and simply have no choice, due the economic conditions in the US.

Framing isn't the only trade effected. All trades that doesn't require a license to participate has been affected. When you hire someone to do work for you around the house and someone quotes you a price that you think is so great, remember there is a reason. Carpet and flooring installers have been undercut and put out of business, roofers are still doing the same jobs for what they were paid ten years ago and finding an American painter is just about a thing of the past. I know contractors that use to be in the business and have shut the doors, fired their employees and started just subcontracting to the illegals because there was no other way to compete.

So, if you are young and considering the construction business, stay in school and do it for the experience. Builders now days don't build anything, they contract out everything to the cheapest bidder and hope for the best. It use to be, if you called yourself a builder, you could actually build a house, building or other structure, not anymore. Anyone can go to school, get a contractor license, borrow money to build a house, the subcontract out all the work and call himself or herself a builder, really.

If you have a warranty problem with your new home, there is probably a reason. It was built by the cheapest labor that money could buy. The next time you visit a neighborhood being built, take a look around, more than likely you will see what I am talking about. If you have the time stop and see if the builder is on site, if he or she is, it will be the exception, not the rule.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • handymanbill profile image

      Bill 6 years ago from western pennsylvania

      This is so very true. Last summer we got invaded in the north. There had been a bad storm in this area doing a lot of hail damage. So there was a lot of insurance work. Next thing you know all theses trucks are up here from Texas ans Arizona with illegals doing all the work. They took a lot from us. So I know what you are talking about. Very hard to compete

      .

    • profile image

      self employed myself 6 years ago

      I agree and now states are making you become licensed and carry insurance even if you don't have employees you will starve. If one customer pays there is one that doesn't and by the time it is all said and done you are broke and they have the house or shop or concrete slab that you put there and they pay you materials and ask for receipts!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)