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Economy

Warm Winter Weather Extends Employment for Construction Workers and Landscapers

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freeimages.com/Garo Goodrow
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Skiers and other winter weather enthusiasts may not be appreciating December temperatures in the 50s and 60s.

But Rochester area contractors, builders and landscapers who would normally be laid off during the winter are working, thanks to the unusually mild winter weather.

Rick Herman, CEO of the Rochester Home Builders' Association, says they're making up for what started as a very difficult year.

“Last year at this time we were buried with snow and everything was at a standstill and our contractors were out of work. That lasted through the spring, and we got a really slow start this year."

Broccolo Tree and Lawn Care in Brighton has retained 14 to 16 full-time employees through the season to keep up with the extra demand for work.

"We've had customers in the past couple of weeks sign up for hardscape projects - patios - that they normally would not have installed until spring,” said Laurie Broccolo. “The weather's been so good that they're saying 'Let's do it. Let's do it now.' "

Broccolo says one possible disadvantage to the warm weather could be a bumper crop of lawn and garden pests in the spring.   

She said customers are asking her employees to do their winter pruning now, a task typically saved for the February thaw.  Broccolo said there is still time to mow your lawn once more this season, and any tree or plant can still be planted now and will simply have a shorter dormant period over the winter.