I am in the commercial construction industry. I can tell you demand for new construction is not what it was in 2006 for sure. But there is some demand there in certain sectors, and in certain markets.
Movie theater operators are flush with 3 years of solid reciepts at the box office. There are also plenty of underserved markets, or markets were operators can build new stadium theaters and drive a competitor with an older sloped floor theater out of the market.
The demand for grocery anchored neighborhood shopping centers is still there. These centers are largely recession proof. Supermarkets do well during downtowns. Some people spend less or shop discounters, but people who used to eat out regularly and stop that practice make up the difference.
Hotels are another area where there are a lot of operators who want to build. Many of these individuals would like to take advantage of bargain on real estate and construction and build now.
Apartments is another could be hot market. This market cooled off a bit as everyone was rushing to buy homes. Now all those people who are thrown out of homes, or would be 1st time buyers who can qualify now, are apartment hunting.
Office buildings, industrial or flex space ... forget about it in most of the United States.
I could call 5 people right now who would like to build a project and can access the funding.
The problem is actually pretty simple. Its credit.
I talk to people everyday who want to do things ... build apartments, open new hotels, open new movie theaters, build new shopping centers ... and they all say the same thing. They can't get the financing. People with proven track records, with good projects, can't access the capital.
The banks are hanging on to everything they can because they are worried about the commercial credit crisis that is just starting to unfold, and will hit head on in 2010.
Want to get jobs going, get around the banks somehow and get capital in the hands of people who know how to use and want to use it. The banks are not doing.
He should spell out the things he think will help the job situtation ... freeing up credit for example. Then he should call a meeting, put his key advisors in a room, turn on the cameras and say to the American people, we are going to do this, this and this to help create jobs ... and then turn to his advisors and say "you got 6 mos to do it, and make it work, or heads will roll."
End of meeting.
Sitting around listening to a bunch of people with various, and often competing, agendas ... which is what this forum will be ... is a waste of time and makes Obama look weak.
He is looking like he did at times in his campaign when he was knocked back on his heels, like he is sort playing from his 'How to Be A Politician 101' book.
We crack 10%? He'll call a jobs forum and take a lot of nice pictures. ... Next mouth.
I support the guy and will support his plan in Afghanistan, because I believe he should be allowed to implement a plan of his own, and give it a chance to work, but even I have to admit I can't understand why that is taking so long.
He just doesn't seem bold or decisive anymore. He seems like he is just another weak knee'd pol checking the boxes. Obama looks best when he is being bold.
I don't know if this is significant enough to factor, but I know that here in North Carolina, for instance, there are some old people who are registered Democrat and vote Republican in national elections.
Perhaps if polled however they would answer Democrat.
We have swung to positive growth. Manufacturing is increasing. Home sales / values are increasing. The stock market is increasing (yes that matters). The service sector even had good numbers last week.
Jobs lag but if history is a guide and the experts are right, jobs should follow in about six months after swinging to growth. If we swung back to growth in September, as it appears, that we are talking about jobs starting to tick up in the Spring.
There will be no more stimulus. The debt is high enough already, there is no reason to go back for more stimulus unless we are in a contraction again.