Wednesday

Miami Herald: Construction Suffers

From the Miami Herald on the Construction Job outlook in Florida: "Construction jobs have taken the most direct hit. Job growth in the industry throughout the state has slowed from a peak of 12.8 percent in mid-2004 to 5 percent in November, according to the most recent state figures. Palm Beach County home builder DiVosta Building plans to lay off half of its 552 workers next month."

"Cement maker Titan America has seen a 20 percent drop in its concrete block business alone, which is almost solely for residential building. At full tilt last year its Pennsuco plant in Medley was running three shifts to keep up with demand. In the fourth quarter, it cut back to just one shift at the block plant."

"'Obviously, construction is in a pretty significant slowdown,' said Florida division president Hardy Johnson. The company has shifted its focus from providing for residential sector clients to commercial builders and for Department of Transportation work."

"'I think that '07 is going to be a flat year for us,' he said."