Report: Employment in Residential Construction Industry has Surpassed Pre-Pandemic

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Employment in residential construction has surpassed pre-pandemic levels. In the last 11 months, approximately 518,000 new residential construction jobs have been created.

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the 37,000 job increase in residential construction in March surpassed the level in February 2020.

This was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in massive job losses in construction and other sectors of the economy.

According to Jing Fu, a NAHB economist, approximately 518,000 residential construction jobs have been created in the last 11 months, more than offsetting the 471,800 residential construction jobs lost in March and April of 2020 and February of 2021.

In March, there were 873,000 builders and 2.2 million residential specialty trade contractors, for a total of 3 million people employed in residential construction.

The six-month moving average of monthly job gains in residential construction was 17,633.

On a net basis, home builders and remodelers added 87,900 jobs in the last year. Residential construction has added 1.05 million jobs since the Great Recession’s low point.

In comparison, while non-residential construction added 73,100 jobs last month, only 64% of jobs lost in March and April of last year have been recovered.

In March, the aggregate construction industry (both residential and non-residential) employed 7.5 million people.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the economy lost 22.7 million jobs in March, April, and December of 2020. Although 14.3 million jobs have been recovered over the last 11 months, total nonfarm employment in March is still 6% lower than it was in February 2020.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the construction worker unemployment rate fell to 6.6 percent in March.

After peaking at 14.1 percent in April 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction worker unemployment rate has been trending lower for the past 11 months.

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Vince is one of our building products correspondents based out of Boston, Massachusetts.