How the economy is affecting NC construction contractor licenses


The number of new people and new companies applying for construction contractor licenses is way down in North Carolina, a direct effect of the continuing slump plaguing the construction industry reports the Triangle Business Journal.  But the number of contractors still holding onto hope that the slump will end soon and choosing to renew their licenses for various forms of construction is still holding steady compared to years past.

In 2009, the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors issued 1,685 new licenses to construction contractors across the state. That number dropped to 1,441 new licenses issued in 2010, and it dropped further to 1,246 new licenses issued in 2011, says Mark Selph, the secretary-treasurer and top executive of the licensing board.

However, the retention rate among licensed contractors has remained steady since 2009 when the licensing board had 34,390 general contractor firms and individuals listed on its roster.

In 2010, 35,680 contractors were licensed by the state. The total number of licensed contractors dipped 0.3 percent to 35,545 in 2011, but Selph says he expects the 2012 total to remain about the same. Year to date, the licensing board has renewed or issued new licenses to about 29,000 individuals and groups across the state.

Any general contractor paid for construction work that costs $30,000 or more must be licensed in North Carolina and certified in one of five classifications, including building contractor, residential contractor, highway contractor, public utilities contractor or any of 18 specialty contracting types.

The North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors, established in 1925, is responsible for checking the credentials and policing all individuals, firms and corporations who enter into contracts for construction work in North Carolina.

“The residential industry seems to be taking the brunt of it,” Selph says. “We’re hoping things will settle down a bit after the election.”

Construction employment in North Carolina dropped 2.1 percent to 171,300 jobs in July compared to the same month a year ago, according to an analysis of Labor Department data performed by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Construction employment in the Raleigh-Cary metro area was down 2 percent to 29,600 jobs in July compared to the same month a year ago. Construction employment in the Durham-Chapel Hill metro area was down 3 percent to 7,200 jobs in July.  Read More.



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