After the construction industry saw an additional 30,000 jobs added in December, a report from the Washington Post calls the construction industry one of the “bright spots” in the recovering labor market, noting the one-fifth of all jobs added in the United States that month.
“There is no evidence that the recession resulted in a long-lasting skills gap that would require retraining experienced workers to work in different industries,” the authors told the Post.
More than a quarter of men 16 to 19 years old are unemployed, and nearly 14 percent of those between 20 and 24 are, as well. Construction jobs will help in both of those demographics.
The Post makes mention of the labor shortage that construction faces.
Since 2007, the industry has lost 2 million workers with the sobering fact that their skills, though highly important to construction, don’t translate well to other industries.
Outside of the need for more new homes due to underbuilding since 2006, the Post points out another important reason the construction industry could be a boost for the economy: the high unemployment rate among young men.
There is reason to take caution, however. The industry saw a similar jump last winter and in the spring shed 53,000 jobs. Most experts predict modest growth for the industry through 2013, but no one predicts construction employment will return to the pre-recession peak of 7 million Americans employed.