- Stock prices got a boost last week when news broke that builders nationwide put up the most houses they have in nearly four years.
But Wisconsin lost over 10,000 construction jobs over the last year. Only Alaska lost more.
Oneida County's numbers reflect that decline. In 2007, the county issued 310 new home permits.
That dropped by over 100 the next year, and continued to fall in 2009 and 2010.
So far this year, the county has issued only 57 permits.
But Jeremy Monk, who owns Monk Construction, LLC in Rhinelander, said his business has actually grown since 2006.
"You're going to have to be prepared to sacrifice to work hard, you're going to have to innovate to be efficient," Monk said. "That's one of the things we work really, really hard to do, is to keep our operations streamlined so we don't have a lot of extra costs or extra time involved in projects."
Just across town, Ben Loma of Bayview Builders tells a different story. He used to build about 10 homes per year.
Now, he hopes for 1 or 2. The loss of business trickles down to his subcontractors.
"Home improvements and things of that nature, I've found I've had to a lot more of the work myself," Loma said. "My model home, instead of being open full time, six days a week, is only open part-time, two days a week, maybe three days a week, because I'm out in the field.
Loma said his profit margins have also fallen, while Monk's have stayed about the same since 2006.
But the one thing they agree on - it's a competitive market.
Story By: Lex Gray