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Unemployment hitting Wallies?

We're a bigger oil company. We did have a few layoffs during the summer, but none this winter. Service wise we are pretty busy, but the installs have fallen off a bit. Most of our install work is subcontractors, so there is less impact to the company.


  • John R. Hall
    John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
    Bad news today

    Wow, 7.2% national unemployment. Heck, it's 9.3% here in Michigan, whose new state motto is "Land of exit migration."

    I know a lot of Wallies are one-person shops or have small staffs. I am wondering if layoffs have hit any other people here from larger businesses. It seems to me that the HVAC trade is still holding its own since we perform services that can't wait until economic times are better.

    Any thoughts?
  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    From what I'm hearing

    A lot of commercial contractors here in the D.C. (aka Ground Zero)area have cut back to 32 hr. workweeks, but my primary HVAC/water treatment (Bol**d)contractor is very busy. This is the same regardless if they are union/non-union. Quite a different story around my home in the Shenandoah Valley...lots of them out of work in all trades, the oldest excavation/site prep contractor in the area went belly up after 60 yrs.
  • Wayne_16
    Wayne_16 Member Posts: 130

    Yea I have been struggling all last year. Taking jobs father away from home, staying overnight etc. Still want to stay in the trade, so I have resisted taking non hvac job.
  • With energy costs jumping.....

    and people finally getting it that they are not going to drop and alot of defered maintenance over the past few years, the phone seems to be ringing more and more. Also, the poorly or untrained contractors that were racing to the bottom in pricing are starting to disappear in my area. New construction is nearly nonexistant, so the slap it in low bidders are struggling, while those with diagnostic experience are picking up more work as the slap it in contractors can't solve people's problems. Installations have slowed for me some, but I am getting more work from those that want problems solved, not just heat on.


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  • Bill_110
    Bill_110 Member Posts: 52

    Rising energy costs would be one reason to have system upgrading or replacement done now. Another is the fact that if you had some money invested in the 90's your returns were usually so good you didn't feel compelled to get a more efficient system with the long payback. Now with returns in the negative for most investors for several years, the return on a more efficient boiler/heating system looks a lot better. The only thing that made me hesitate is the lack of reliable steam contractors in my part of NY. Unfortunately they didn't disappoint me.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,691
    Nope, we are hiring........................

    Not that that cannot change...but we are booming right now...with all the hi-efficciency installs I have been really promoting the last several years. I am blessed. Mad Dog

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  • Wayne_29
    Wayne_29 Member Posts: 50
    We Are Too

    We need some strong hands
  • Wayne_29
    Wayne_29 Member Posts: 50

    There have been layoffs at my company also...

    *Let's hope 2009 is better for everybody!

  • The real issue is getting paid by your customers. As more customers lose their jobs I believe getting paid will be a hassle. If given the choice between paying for groceries or paying the heating contractor, an empty stomach will decide. My wife says people will always need heat, but I think people with no money will either attempt to fix it themselves or pay an unemployed tech cash. When the economy was good, there was alot of moonlighting going on. Now there will be a whole lot more, I believe. I know that some that post here think that alot of the moonlighting results in more business for them to fix it. That may be true, but as times get tougher and more of the competant technicians and installers lose their jobs they will be competing with their former employers; not out of spite but as a way to survive. I worry about the future health of this profession for not just myself but everyone.
  • Yes John,

    I got laid off after the first week of December. But then I am in a little different position than most "wallies". I left the security of management and service a few years back to wind out my carrier working out of the hall. A lot less stress ya know.

    Lay off's and changing contractors is part of the deal, but Ive yet to have been off more than a month, till now....Normaly I consider these little inconvienances as "vacations" and time to get things done around the homestead. Hope to get calld back soon. Hall says its gona be busy around soon....hope there right.
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