Signs of Hope in Local Construction Industry - 8 News NOW

Signs of Hope in Local Construction Industry

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LAS VEGAS -- The most recent jobs report for the United States shows an uptick in construction jobs nationwide. Construction in southern Nevada lags behind the rest of the country but experts say there are signs it could be improving.

The construction of one house can employ dozens of skilled workers, subcontractors, and laborers. The number of total construction jobs in Las Vegas is still dismally low but experts say there are some indicators that could change.

"They call us pick up guys. What we do is we go and fix the cabinets after the installers. We basically do all the pre-finish work," said Javier Macias.

He depends on the construction industry to make a living.

"They've been building so we're pretty busy. I've put in 40, close to 47 hours, this week, including overtime," Macias said.

Overall construction in Las Vegas has been on the decline. In September, it was down about 3,500 jobs from the same time last year, but recently there's been a bright spot in the industry.

"A lot of builders -- like you can see on this project here -- are building steady for the last few months, at least. Some of the other builders that we work for are doing the same thing. So if it stays like that, we'll be alright," said Shawn Gunther, electrical supervisor.

New home construction is up and some experts say it's a sign the whole industry could be taking a positive turn.

"The national signs are good for us, because it's a sign that the economy nationwide is good, but it's also a good sign for us locally," said Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross who is also on the Southern Nevada Labor Management Cooperative Committee.

"I look at the tourism numbers, I look at the visitor volume, flights coming to Las Vegas. I measure all of those things. The best measurement for me is seeing sticks in the air, when I see new homes under construction, Ross said.

"If they don't build any homes, we don't have any jobs," Macias said.

The local job numbers will be released in two weeks. Those numbers will show if construction in Las Vegas is also experiencing an upward trend.

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