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      Weather and economy help out construction industry

      Construction projects and jobs are on the upswing in Northern Michigan.

      The oddly warmer temperatures last winter and so far this year have played a factor, but the economy seems to be the biggest reason for the recent boom in commercial and residential construction.

      "The reality is that there's a huge demand for housing whether people want to upsize or downsize or just move to different areas," said Brown Lumber President, Fran Seymour. "There's so much pressure on that area that eventually it will run out and it has to improve. And that's certainly what we hope for."

      Grand Traverse had building permit increases from 169 in 2011 and 216 this year. Emmet county issued 121 permits in 2011 and 143 in this year, while Wexford saw a drop since 312 in 2011 and 281 so far in 2012.

      Grand Traverse Chamber of Commerce reports that there has been a rise in building and construction jobs, and that they expect the numbers to continue to grow for the next few years.