Mississippi Construction Down 5% in Past Year

By: Ashley Porter Email
By: Ashley Porter Email

A national organization says the construction industry is in an economic depression.

"Work has definitely been on a decline," said Billy Ware, president and CEO of Mid-State Construction. "We've been fortunate to have some work for the past year."

Other companies haven't been so fortunate. New numbers show that the construction industry in Mississippi has dwindled by five percent since last August. That is 3,200 jobs in a year.

"Our employees have not had raises," said Ware. "We haven't had any layoffs, and we hope that we won't have."

To lay the groundwork for construction revival, the Associated general Contractors of American is calling for tax incentives. And it's encouraging the government to get rid of the alternative minimum tax.

"It's alternative to the normal income tax that the individual or the corporation or the business pays," said Dr. Bill Penn, a professor at Belhaven College. "This might stimulate some investment projects that could be written off against a regular income tax, but can't be written off against the alternative minimum tax."

Even with the bad news, someone's benefiting from the slowdown, buyers.

"We're also bidding very aggressively. It's a buyer's market," said Ware.

And from the drawing board to the construction site, the economy isn't about to impact the foundation the business has laid.

"Our company is 51 years old," Ware said. "We don't know how to do anything else."

Mid-State Construction also says it's seeing projects that normally attract just companies from Mississippi getting bids from across the southeast U.S.

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