News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
Labor Market Gains are a Positive Sign for Housing
David Crowe / Eye on Housing / December 10, 2014
An improving labor market will help support growth in home building in 2015. And the November report offered the most positive jobs data in some time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,321,000 jobs (seasonally adjusted) were added to the economy in November, and the numbers for September and October were revised up by a combined 44,000. Prior to November, the average monthly gain in jobs for 2014 had been 233,000. The BLS data also indicated that the average workweek and hourly earnings improved.
Home builders and remodelers added 16,700 jobs to the economy in November, according to the BLS data. Over the last year, residential construction employment has grown by 122,000.
However, a separate labor market report on job turnover (the BLS JOLTS survey) revealed that the number of unfilled construction sector positions rose to 136,000 in October (the JOLTS data come with a two-month lag). This is the fourth-highest total for open construction jobs during the post-recession period and a demonstration of the challenge some firms in the industry have obtaining access to labor as construction activity expands.