TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The Magic Valley is experiencing a significant increase in people filing for unemployment due to many industries closing down. The construction industry is one that is able to continue work because it is deemed essential. However, the industry is still facing challenges as COVID-19 continues to spread.
The major impact the industry is facing right now is the pace is seeming to slow down for a lot projects. The so-called day-to-day construction, such as remodeling or tenant approvals for restaurants or businesses, are being hit. A vast majority of bigger projects--or ones that were already started--are continuing.
“We’ve seen the largest impact in new construction starts both in new construction starts both in the commercial and residential side. Existing projects are continuing to move forward but labor intensive new projects have been delayed,” said Wayne Hammon, CEO of the Idaho Associated General Contractors.
There are multiple factors that come into play when working on a construction site like: contractors, banks, local governments, and building inspectors. They all need to work with each other in order to finish a project. With Governor Little's stay at home order, it's been very difficult to work with one another, resulting in slow progress for certain sites.
Construction has had their experience with layoffs during this pandemic as well. The numbers are not large compared to other industries, but it has happened. Fortunately, there has also been opportunity for construction workers which has managed to moderately level the rate of unemployment.
The construction industry is doing well compared to many other businesses and industries, but it's important not to forget they too are battling this pandemic, and like many they hope for things to return to normal as the outcome is very unpredictable.