The labor force kicked off 2023 with strong gains, sending the unemployment rate to a 53-year low. Residential construction gained 5,500 jobs in January, while total nonfarm payroll employment posted a gain of 517,000 in January, its largest monthly increase in six months, the National Association of Home Builders' Eye on Housing reports.
While the labor force participation rate rose 0.1 percentage point to 62.4% in January, it remains well below pre-pandemic levels recorded at the beginning of 2020.
Residential construction employment now stands at 3.3 million in January, broken down as 934,000 builders and 2.3 million residential specialty trade contractors. The 6-month moving average of job gains for residential construction was 6,100 a month. Over the last 12 months, home builders and remodelers added 114,600 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 1,282,900 positions.