Tag Archive for 'construction employment'

ABC Reports: Construction Unemployment Dips 0.7 Percent In July Despite 6,000 Job Losses

CEU2“The major source of construction employment loss was among nonresidential specialty trade contractors, which forfeited nearly 10,000 jobs in July.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

Employment-August 2013Summary

Despite the loss of 6,000 jobs, the nation’s construction industry unemployment rate dipped to 9.1 percent in July on a non-seasonally adjusted rate, according to the U.S. Labor Department’s Aug. 2 employment report. That is down from 9.8 percent in June and 12.3 percent the same time last year. Overall, the construction labor force expanded from 8.08 million in July 2012 to 8.43 million in July 2013.

Nonresidential building construction employment increased by 300 jobs for the month and is up by 18,700 jobs, or 2.8 percent, since July 2012. Nonresidential specialty trade contractors lost 9,800 jobs for the month, but employment remains 1.8 percent higher compared to one year ago. Employment for heavy and civil engineering construction was down by 2,000 jobs for the month, but is up by 19,200 jobs, or 2.2 percent, on a year-over-year basis.

In comparison, residential building construction employment increased by 100 jobs in July and has expanded by 7,400 jobs, or 1.3 percent, during the past 12 months. Residential specialty trade contractors added 6,200 jobs in July and have added 84,700 jobs, or 5.8 percent, since July 2012.

Across all industries, the nation added 162,000 jobs, falling short of consensus expectations that were in the neighborhood of 183,000 jobs. The private sector expanded by 161,000 jobs and the public sector added 1,000 jobs. The national unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent in July, down from 7.6 percent in June and 8.2 percent in July 2012.

Analysis

“Today’s employment report is consistent with the June construction spending report, which indicated that overall construction spending declined by 0.6 percent and that nonresidential construction spending was off by 1 percent,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “That type of performance is not consistent with robust job creation, so it’s no surprise that the construction industry did not deliver net new jobs last month.

“The major source of construction employment loss was among nonresidential specialty trade contractors, which forfeited nearly 10,000 jobs in July,” Basu said. “This segment had been recovering nicely, but now appears to be feeling the effects of an economy growing at less than 2 percent.

“Meanwhile, the loss of 2,000 jobs in the heavy and civil engineering construction sector may be a partial reflection of sequestration,” said Basu. “Despite the job losses, the construction unemployment rate declined last month; however, much of the drop has been attributed to people leaving the industry.

“Financial markets responded to today’s data in a number of ways, including lowering interest rates,” said Basu. “All things being equal, lower rates are better for the U.S. nonresidential construction industry’s still sporadic recovery.”

To view the previous Employment report, click here

ABC Reports: Construction Industry Unemployment Rate Drops to 12.8 Percent in June

“The employment expansion in nonresidential construction is, at least in part, a reflection of the way the economy finished last year, which was on a relative strong note.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

 

With the addition of 2,000 jobs last month, the nation’s construction industry unemployment rate fell to 12.8 percent in June, down from 14.2 percent in May, according to the July 6 employment report by the U.S. Labor Department. One year ago, the construction unemployment rate was 15.6 percent.

The number of unemployed construction workers now stands at 1.04 million, down from 1.32 million a year ago. However, much of this improvement is attributable to a decline in the size of the construction workforce, which now totals 8.12 million people, down from more than 8.44 million people a year ago.

June’s construction employment gains were primarily the result of a 10,000 job increase among specialty trades contractors. Employment in the specialty trades contractor segment is up 15,900 jobs, or by 0.5 percent, on a year-over-year basis. Nonresidential specialty trades contractors added 7,600 jobs for the month and have gained 14,100 jobs, or 1 percent, during the past year.

In contrast, nonresidential building construction employment declined by 1,000 last month to 657,500. Employment in this category is still higher relative to a year ago by 4,300 jobs, or 0.7 percent. Heavy and civil engineering construction employment decreased by 2,000 jobs for the month and has fallen by 1,800 jobs, or 0.2 percent, from the same time last year.

Residential building construction employment slipped by 5,900 jobs last month and is down by 5,200 jobs compared to a year ago. Employment in this sector now stands at 556,600.

Overall, the nation added 80,000 jobs in June and 1.8 million jobs during the past twelve months. The private sector added 84,000 jobs, while the government sector lost 4,000 jobs. June represents the 28th consecutive month of private sector job growth in the United States. However, the unemployment rate remained unchanged for the month at 8.2 percent, down from 9.1 percent in June 2011.

Analysis

“Today’s employment report is a bit of good news for the construction industry, but is widely viewed as disappointing,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “During the first three months of this year, the nation added 226,000 monthly jobs on average. During the past three months, the average monthly gain has been just 75,000 jobs.

“Many economic forecasters expect sluggish job growth during the balance of the summer and into the fall due to ongoing global economic slowing and various sources of uncertainty in the United States, including issues with respect to federal tax and budgetary policy,” Basu said.

“The employment expansion in nonresidential construction is, at least in part, a reflection of the way the economy finished last year, which was on a relative strong note,” said Basu. “Fourth quarter 2011 GDP growth was 3 percent.

“The associated increase in investor/developer confidence likely pushed many projects ahead, which helps explain the 10,000 increase in jobs among specialty trades contractors in June,” Basu said. “The economy today is likely expanding at less than 2 percent, consistent with expectations of flat nonresidential construction spending and suppressed hiring over the near-term.

“Given recent progress in Europe regarding sovereign debt and banking issues, as well as some recent signs of legislative progress in the United States, the level of economic uncertainty may abate somewhat over the near-term,” said Basu. “That would help reignite nonresidential construction’s recovery, though improvement in industry fortunes is unlikely to be immediate.”

To view the previous employment report, click here.

ABC Reports: Construction Industry Unemployment Falls to 14.5 Percent in April

“The nation’s economy has managed to regain some semblance of momentum since last September, which should ultimately translate into better news for the construction industry.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

Despite a loss of 2,000 jobs in April, the nation’s construction unemployment rate fell to 14.5 percent, down from 17.2 percent in March and 17.8 percent in April 2011, according to the May 4 employment report by the U.S. Labor Department. Year over year, the construction industry has added 63,000 jobs or 1.1 percent.

The nonresidential building construction sector lost 1,100 jobs for the month but has added 6,000 jobs, a 0.9 percent increase year-over-year as April employment stood at 658,400. Residential building construction employment slipped by 2,500 jobs last month, but employment is still up by 700 jobs, as employment stood at 566,000 in April.

Nonresidential specialty trade contractors shed 8,400 jobs for the month but have gained 3,900 jobs, a 0.2 percent increase since last April. Residential specialty trade contractor employment was up by 6,300 jobs for the month and the sector has added 33,100 jobs, a 2.3 percent increase from one year ago. Heavy and civil engineering construction employment went up by 3,300 jobs for the month and has added 18,400 jobs, a 2.2 percent increase from April 2011.

Across all industries, the nation added 115,000 jobs as the private sector expanded by 130,000 jobs and the public sector shrank by 15,000 jobs. Year over year, the nation has added 1,816,000 jobs, or a 1.4 percent increase to job totals. The unemployment rate stood at 8.1 percent in April, down from 8.2 percent in March.

Analysis

“Today’s employment report represents the latest in a number of data releases indicating that the momentum in nonresidential construction does not carry into the new year,” said Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “While overall construction employment was down just 2,000 jobs for the month, payrolls at nonresidential specialty trade contractors slipped by 8,400, an indication that more construction projects are being completed relative to construction starts.

“However, the nation’s economy has managed to regain some semblance of momentum since last September, which should ultimately translate into better news for the construction industry,” Basu said. “While today’s top-line job growth estimate of 115,000 was below the consensus estimates of nearly 170,000, previous months were significantly revised upward.

“For the second consecutive year, the nation’s economy has softened during the January-April period,” Basu said. “However, U.S. economic fundamentals are better now than they were a year ago as there is no immediate debt ceiling confrontation ahead.

“In addition, commodity and construction input prices have also been better behaved than a year ago which indicates that the broader U.S. economy, and eventually the construction industry, are positioned to expand,” said Basu.

“ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) predicted the current lull in construction activity,” Basu said. “It is possible that commercial and industrial construction will remain soft for a few more months. We will know more when the 1st quarter 2012 report comes out on May 15.”

Visit ABC for more reports on the construction economy

ABC Reports: The Construction Industry Loses 7,000 Jobs in March

“The economic slowdown during the spring and summer of last year caused many projects to be put on hold and resulted in diminished construction momentum.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

The construction industry lost 7,000 jobs in March, inching the unemployment rate up to 17.2 percent from 17.1 percent in February, according to the April 6 Department of Labor employment report. Year over year, construction industry unemployment is down compared to the March 2011 rate of 20 percent. The industry added 55,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

The nonresidential construction sector lost 6,000 jobs for the month, but year over year has added 7,000 jobs, or 1.1 percent, bringing the total number of jobs to 659,400. Residential construction lost 5,000 jobs for the month and has added 3,000 jobs during the past 12 months, or 0.4 percent, to reach 569,000 jobs.

Nonresidential specialty trade contractors shed 5,000 jobs in March, while residential specialty trade contractors added 5,000 jobs and heavy and civil engineering construction employment saw a gain of 4,000 jobs. Year over year, nonresidential specialty trade contractors have lost 4,000 jobs, or 0.2 percent; residential specialty trade contractor employment grew by 29,000 jobs, or 2 percent; and heavy and civil engineering construction employment increased by 20,000 jobs, or 2.4 percent.

Across all industries, the nation added 120,000 jobs in March. The private sector expanded by 121,000 jobs and the public sector shrank by 1,000 jobs. On a yearly basis, the nation has added 1,899,000 jobs, or 1.5 percent. The national unemployment rate stood at 8.2 percent in March, down from 8.3 percent in February, with the labor force shrinking by 164,000 people.

Analysis

“Today’s employment report was disappointing, particularly for construction,” said Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The first quarter of 2012 will be judged as a step backward for the industry as construction spending levels stagnated and employment momentum disappeared.

“A certain level of weakness was anticipated due to the economic slowdown during the spring and summer of last year that caused many projects to be put on hold and resulted in diminished construction momentum,” Basu said. “In addition, ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator, a predictor of construction activity, dipped during last year’s fourth quarter, setting the stage for the declines in construction employment now being observed.

“This employment report differed from the prior three months because employment growth was disappointing for the broader economy as well,” Basu said. “The consensus coming into today’s release was the nation would have added approximately 200,000 jobs in March, which did not happen.

“Some attribute the disappointing March report to abnormally warm weather across the nation, which caused February’s employment to be artificially high. However, one month does not make a trend and other data remain upbeat, including consumer activity and overall economic momentum. Economists and others will be looking for signs of improvement in labor market dynamics in April,” Basu said.