Jobs report analysis shows solid growth in residential construction

The residential construction sector added 13,000 jobs in July from a month earlier.

August 1, 2014

A Trulia analysis of the July jobs report indicates an overall improvement in construction employment. Young-adult employment, which Trulia's chief economist Jed Kolko says impacts the housing market, is down from the previous month and remains below normal. Finally, job growth in the metropolitan areas hit the hardest by the housing crisis grew slightly in July.


The residential construction sector, including residential specialty trade contractors, added 13,000 jobs in July from the month prior, and 28,4000 jobs from three months earlier. Year-over-year, residential construction jobs are up 5.3 percent, ahead of overall job growth of 1.9 percent. Residential construction jobs remain a relatively small share of total employment (see chart below), well below their early 2000s level.


Employment among 25 to 34 year-olds, the prime age group for housing demand, was at 75.6 percent in July, down from 75.8 percent in June and 76 percent in February. Young-adult employment is less than halfway back to normal: before the bubble, their employment-population ratio hovered in the 78 to 80 percent range. Young-adult employment has an impact on housing, Kolko says. Twelve percent of employed 25 to 34 year-olds live with their parents, versus 20 percent of 25 to 34 year-olds who are unemployed.


Job growth in “clobbered metros” was 2.2 percent year-over-year in June ahead of national job growth of 1.8 percent for the same period. Among these metros, Orlando (+3.7 percent), Fort Lauderdale (+3.3 percent), and Las Vegas (+3.1 percent) had especially strong year-over-year job growth, while Detroit employment was flat year-over-year. Among the 100 largest metros, not just those impacted the most by the housing crisis, job growth was highest in Grand Rapid, Mich,. (+5.0 percent) and lowest in Syracuse, N.Y. (-0.7 percent).



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