Local Lumber Industry to See Boost in 2015 As Construction Set to Drive Hawaii’s Economy
(Honolulu, HI) August 28, 2014 – Construction has been one of the hardest hit industries since the economic downturn of 2008/2009, but it has also been on a steady rebound over the last couple of years both nationally and locally. The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) released its forecast earlier this month, indicating confidence in the growth of construction jobs due to “planned condo projects on Oahu, rail construction, and the need for single-family homes.” There will be a small net gain in construction jobs for 2014 with a 7 to 8 percent rise in 2015 to 2016, according to the report.
“Increased construction projects throughout the state will mean increased demand for wood products as lumber remains the top choice for building residential housing,” said Erin McClanahan, Hawaii Lumber Products Association (HLPA) president and Sause Bros. Hawaii marketing manager. “Based on information compiled from the State of Hawaii Data Book, more than 12,000 homes built in Hawaii from 2007 to 2011 relied on wood products. The average single-family home requires about 10,000 board feet of lumber.”
Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in July remained low at 4.4 percent, as reported by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, with an overall increase of 800 payroll jobs from June. With a steady workforce, demand for housing will only intensify in a local market already short on supply. This is especially true for first-time homebuyers in search of single-family homes.
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