Yakima construction jobs adapt to market - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima construction jobs adapt to market

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Yakima, WASH.--A recent study by a regional labor economist showed that construction jobs took a big hit in Yakima County this past year.

Nearly 400 construction jobs were cut.

"There were a lot of builders building a lot of homes four or five years ago, and you're seeing fewer people in the industry that are successful," said Jon Kinloch, the general manager of Apple Tree Construction. "And I think it's the ability to adapt to what's happening out there."

Adapting to the housing market certainly seems to be working for a lot of people. Central Washington Home Builders Association said landscapers are doing better than ever. In fact, they've actually noticed a slight increase in construction jobs as more and more people are looking to renovate.

"People are looking at home improvement," said Carly Faul, the Executive Officer of CWHBA. "Maybe they're not building and buying as much as they were, but remodeling has certainly seen an uptake. And so they're looking at different home improvements, where they're either doing additions, landscaping."

Tom Stokes, the owner of Russell Landscaping, said, "No, we definitely have more jobs this year than we did last year."

Apple Tree Construction said they adapted to the new market by building smaller, more efficient homes rather than large-scale houses.

"People are being smarter with there money and ultimately they want to live in an efficient home that's the right size," said Kinloch. "We're not seeing people build larger homes than they really need."

Apple Tree Construction said they also had to downsize and rely more on sub-contractors.

Industrial construction appears to also be doing well. New schools in Yakima and Wapato are keeping workers busy.