Monday, September 10, 2012

Employment Graphs: Construction Employment, Unemployment by Education

by Bill McBride on 9/10/2012 06:04:00 PM

A couple more graphs based on the August employment report. The first graph below shows the number of total construction payroll jobs in the U.S. including both residential and non-residential since 1969.

Construction employment increased by only 1 thousand jobs in August, and so far is down for the year.

Unfortunately this graph is a combination of both residential and non-residential construction employment. The BLS only started breaking out residential construction employment fairly recently (residential specialty trade contractors in 2001).

Construction Employment Click on graph for larger image.

Construction employment appears to be moving sideways, although I expect this will change soon (and I'd expect some upward revisions to construction employment). The preliminary annual Benchmark Revision will be released on September 27, 2012.

Note: When housing was collapsing, one of the mysteries was why construction employment wasn't declining - and then finally employment started falling sharply. I think we are seeing a similar "mystery" now, and I expect BLS reported construction employment will start increasing soon.

Unemployment by Education

Unemployment by Level of EducationThis graph shows the unemployment rate by four levels of education (all groups are 25 years and older).

Unfortunately this data only goes back to 1992 and only includes one previous recession (the stock / tech bust in 2001). Clearly education matters with regards to the unemployment rate - and it appears all four groups are generally trending down - although the unemployment rate for 'high school grads, no college' has increased recently.

Note: This says nothing about the quality of jobs - as an example, a college graduate working at minimum wage would be considered "employed".

Last 10 Posts