Residential construction employment saw gains in 2020

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Residential construction employment saw gains in 2020

By HBSDealer Staff - 01/13/2021

While other industries suffered severe job losses in 2020, residential construction positions finished the year on solid ground.

According to a report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the number of new jobs created in residential construction offset the total amount of jobs that were lost earlier in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In December, residential construction jobs increased by 22,700 along with about 15,800 jobs gained in November. 

In total, about 472,500 residential construction jobs were created in past eight months, offsetting the 456,800 residential construction jobs lost in March and April 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. This is a far cry from other industries, including leisure and hospitality reporting 480,000 jobs lost in December. 

Overall U.S. employment declined by 140,000 jobs in December, according to the latest Employment Situation Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In comparison to residential construction, the non-residential construction market has recovered just 61% of the jobs that were lost in March and April.

Residential construction employment now stands at roughly 3 million in December, broken down as 848,000 builders and 2.1 million residential specialty trade contractors, the NAHB said. 

The six-month moving average of job gains for residential construction was 27,000 a month. Over the past 12 months, home builders and remodelers added 57,200 jobs on a net basis. 

Since the low point following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 999,300 positions.

In December, the unemployment rate for construction workers was unchanged at 6.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis. The nation’s unemployment rate in December also sat at 6.7%, which is flat compared to the prior month.

After hitting 14.8% unemployment in April due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate for construction workers has been trending downward for the past eight months.