Why can't a 59 year old white guy who's a highly skilled carpenter/renovator w/35 years experience in the Atl market find work?

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Scott in Smyrna, Georgia

70 months ago

I suppose the answer is two fold. The level of skill in Atlanta is mediocre and a lot of people have been burned over the years. I make 50 to 60 percent of my income fixing what other people have left behind. The other aspect, the economy not withstanding, is the influx of cheap labor that has flooded the market in the last 15 years. I never hired any illegals but I know plenty of contractors who have. I used to carry one or two helpers, train them for several years or until they wanted to go off on their own; mostly because the level of expertise I offer required that I do a great portion of the work myself, with helpers assisting. Work has dropped off so much in the last 2 years I can't afford to carry a helper anymore. And several large jobs have taken me out of the market. Over the years upwards of 90 to 95 percent of my work has come through people who knew me or somebody who knows me. I know there's still people out there who want quality work....I've just lost touch with them. Really Sucks.

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In the same boat-what do we do now????,T in Foxboro, Massachusetts

47 months ago

Scott in Smyrna, Georgia said: I suppose the answer is two fold. The level of skill in Atlanta is mediocre and a lot of people have been burned over the years. I make 50 to 60 percent of my income fixing what other people have left behind. The other aspect, the economy not withstanding, is the influx of cheap labor that has flooded the market in the last 15 years. I never hired any illegals but I know plenty of contractors who have. I used to carry one or two helpers, train them for several years or until they wanted to go off on their own; mostly because the level of expertise I offer required that I do a great portion of the work myself, with helpers assisting. Work has dropped off so much in the last 2 years I can't afford to carry a helper anymore. And several large jobs have taken me out of the market. Over the years upwards of 90 to 95 percent of my work has come through people who knew me or somebody who knows me. I know there's still people out there who want quality work....I've just lost touch with them. Really Sucks.

I'm in the exact same boat, so what do we do now???, Thanks, Ed

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Frustrated in Atlanta, Georgia

42 months ago

I have the same problem. I've always done high quality work at a fair price, but it seems lately more often than not people don't care about quality anymore as they about do about getting the cheapest price. As self employed carpenters we're expected to supply materials and produce custom work for bargain basement prices now. I believe this is directly related to illegal workers who are happy to make $100/day. It's impossible to be competitive when price is the only determining factor and quality is replaced with caulk.

Oh and don't forget that home improvement stores have created the illusion that our trade can be done on a weekend with the help of one of their (knowledgeable)associates...

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