Lots of chatter out there about a housing bottom and recovery. Whether true or not the U.S. labor market sure could use one even though “residential building” employment as formally defined by the BLS is a surprisingly smaller share of total construction employment than most perceive.
Nevertheless, construction employment was decimated during and around the Great Recession, losing over 2.2 million jobs from April 2006 to January 2011. Construction employment peaked at 6.78 percent of total private nonfarm payrolls in April 2006 and has fallen to 4.98 percent according to the latest data from May.
Employment in the industry has significantly lagged the general recovery creating only 60K net jobs since bottoming in January 2011. Last month it was a huge drag on the overall employment number, losing 28K jobs in May.
The capacity for job creation is there but will they build it? Tomorrow’s numbers will be interesting. Stay tuned.