Report: Jobs increase but residential construction sector lags

Job creation is gradually gathering force, but the construction sector, including home building, continues to drag, according to March data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Residential construction is off about 1.4 million jobs since the peak of employment.

May 20, 2011
construction jobs, job market, home building

Job creation is gradually gathering force, but the construction sector, including home building, continues to drag, according to March data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), found on the National Association of Home Builders’ blog.

The JOLTS data come from a monthly survey of businesses, which reports information regarding job openings, new hires, layoffs, quits and other departures.

Overall, the JOLTS data suggest that for the construction sector, 2011 could be the first year since 2006 when total hires exceed total separations (the sum of layoffs, quits and other departures). The data recall how dismal 2008 and 2009 were for workers in construction, with residential construction (home building and remodeling) still off about 1.4 million jobs since the peak of employment. But through March 2011, hires are on an even keel with separations so far.

For the construction sector, including home building (but also remodeling, civil, and commercial construction), the data indicate continued low rates of job openings, after some small increases associated with the home buyer tax credit in 2010. Rates of layoffs have shown some strength compared to 2008 rates, albeit off a much reduced labor force total.

Home building’s ability to substantially help economic growth depends on whether builders and developers can get financing where housing need demands it, and whether the levee suppressing the demand for housing will break.

For more information: www.eyeonhousing.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/more-labor-market-reporting-job-openings-increasing-but-construction-lags/

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