Also at The Albany Project
The Bush/Greenspan housing recession/depression has already sent a lot of real estate agents into other lines of sales and a lot of new-home builders/workers into remodeling kitchens and bathrooms.
But it has also affected thousands of manufacturing workers.
Here (around Albany, NY), Owens Corning announced yesterday that it will be laying off 140-160 of its 360 workers at its Selkirk insulation plant over the next two months.
The news is worse for workers at Georgia-Pacific's plywood plant in Logansburg, LA -- 280 of them were laid off without notice this morning.
Details about just two corners, in just one day, of the housing crash, below.
An Owens Corning spokesman in the story linked to above cites:
continued forecasts for prolonged weakness in demand for building materials.
The line (one of two) is expected to remain curtailed throughout 2008, dependent on market conditions. The curtailment is part of Owens Corning's strategy to ensure that all capacity is aligned with market demand.
I heard an Owens Corning spokesman, maybe the same guy, on the radio today, blaming the roughly 50 percent drop on housing starts for the roughly 50 percent layoff in Selkirk.
One can hardly blame the company, which emerged from bankruptcy last year, for being very careful about a very uncertain near-term outlook for building materials like insulation.
At least the Owens Corning unfortunates were not laid off immediately, like the Georgia-Pacific workers.
Approximately 280 employees of Georgia-Pacific’s plywood mill are without jobs today after company officials unexpectedly announced a shutdown this morning.
A combination of factors led to the decision, including market conditions resulting from housing starts at the lowest level in more than 20 years and the expense required for necessary improvements at the facility.
Manufacturing operations have ceased and existing inventory will be shipped over the next few weeks. Employees will be eligible for 60 days of pay and benefits from Georgia-Pacific, after which they will be eligible for unemployment benefits.
Building materials like insulation and plywood are mostly manufactured here, not in China, from raw materials that also are mostly domestic-derived.
These are good jobs, even in Louisiana, and losing them is a personal tragedy/challenge for 400-plus American skilled manufacturing workers.
Unfortunately, even though these 400-plus jobs were not sent to China or Mexico, they might as well have been.
Because the Bush/Greenspan housing recession/depression has probably just begun.