The February jobs report brings good news to those in the construction industry, with the addition of 48,000 new jobs. In addition, over the last five months this business sector has seen 151,000 new construction jobs added, the biggest jump since the 2006 collapse of the housing market. What’s behind the jump and what are the implications for construction trades, such as HVAC, electricians and plumbers?
Cause and Effect
The surge in construction jobs is the result of various factors. First, many of the foreclosures that flooded the market over the last few years have finally come off the market, helping to bring home prices up. Low mortgage rates are helping to encourage home sales. More people are now trying to buy. Since new construction drastically declined over the past few years, there is actually a shortage in new home construction. In order to meet demand, builders are springing into action. January saw the largest number of building permits filed since 2008.
According to Paul Emrath, economist with the National Association of Home Builders, his organization is predicting that residential construction jobs will increase five times more in 2013 than last year. The good news for workers is that jobs are available and their skills are in demand. However, employers may see a shortage of skilled workers. Recruiting employees and contractors in fields such as plumbing, electrical and HVAC is critical to the success of any new construction project. However, Emrath admits, “Our members are hiring so much that they’re starting to get worried about finding enough labor out there.”
The addition of construction jobs is also positively affecting related industries. Real estate added 13,400 jobs over the last three months and building supply stores reported an additional 4,300 jobs in February, launching it to the top of the retail sector.
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