Aug. Jobs Report – Construction

Today’s jobs report numbers, specifically for the construction industry, from Nick Grandy, construction and real estate senior analyst at RSM.

Nick Grandy, construction and real estate senior analyst with RSM US LLP:

  • The construction industry has continued to add jobs, though the pace of additions is slowing, with 16K jobs added in August (July was revised down from 32.4K to 24K jobs added). This is largely attributable to the continued increase in interest rates and fears of a pending recession.
  • Evaluated on a subsector basis:
    • Residential employment increased 2.3K jobs, with residential specialty contractors adding 8.6K jobs.
      • There is still a significant discrepancy within the housing market between houses under construction and completions on a monthly basis, as contractors are still dealing with lingering material and supply chain issues from the pandemic. Expectations are that these employment numbers will continue to flatten as housing starts have fallen from an annualized rate of 1.8M in April to 1.4M in July.
    • Non-residential construction was fairly flat for the month, adding only 0.7K jobs and an additional 5.6K in the specialty trades category for non-residential.
      • Backlogs according to the Associated Builders and Contractors were 8.7 months for July, and while contractors are still looking for help, they are more focused on finding the right talent to help them grow.
    • Heavy and civil construction fell 2K jobs in the month of August. This group continues to surprise in a negative manner, with infrastructure funds continuing to enter the market in the next year.
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