Construction employers in the US added 39,000 jobs in January and 308,000 over the past year, reaching the highest employment total since February 2009, as the sector’s unemployment rate fell to 9.8 per cent, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America Monday.
US construction employment totaled 6,314,000 in January, the highest level in nearly six years, with a 12-month gain of 308,000 jobs, or 5.1 per cent, the Associated General Contractors of America report added. Residential building and specialty trade contractors added a combined 20,100 employees since December and 162,400 during the past 12 months, a 7.2-per cent hike. Nonresidential contractors – building, specialty trade, and heavy and civil engineering construction firms – hired a net of 18,600 workers for the month and 145,600 since January 2014, a 3.9-per cent increase.
Elsewhere, according to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs for December (on a seasonally adjusted basis) rose to 147,000. The December level marks the 3rd highest monthly measure of unfilled jobs in construction during the post-recession period.
On a three-month moving average basis, the open position rate for the construction sector increased to 2.23 per cent in December. Over the last year, the open construction jobs rate has typically been higher than the rates that were experienced during the 2001-2003 period prior to the building boom.
According to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors, the majority of US metropolitan areas experienced steady but slightly stronger price growth in 4Q 2014, behind a decline in housing supply and an uptick in demand fueled by lower interest rates and a stronger job market.