Friday, November 07, 2008

Construction and Retail Employment

by Calculated Risk on 11/07/2008 03:51:00 PM

A couple more graphs on employment ...

Construction Employment
Click on graph for larger image in new window.

The first graph shows employment for residential and non-residential employment. Note: the y-axis doesn't start at zero to better show the change.

Residential construction is off about 600 thousand from the peak, but that doesn't include cash workers (many illegal immigrants) and some construction workers work in both residential and non-residential areas and are included in the non-residential category.

Non-residential construction employment is off 180 thousand from the peak. With the coming slump in commercial real estate (CRE), we will probably see some significant construction job losses over the next year.

Retail EmploymentThe second graph shows the year-over-year employment for retail. Retail employment growth has been sluggish in recent years (probably because of internet sales and more efficiency).

YoY employment is off 1.8% - close to the slump in 2001/2002. In 1991, YoY retail employment slumped by 2.5%.

A few weeks ago, the LA Times reported: Retailers cutting back on holiday hiring

A recent survey of more than 1,000 managers responsible for hiring hourly workers found that each manager planned on hiring an average of 3.7 seasonal employees this year, roughly 33% less than the 5.6 workers they hired during last year's holiday period.
Retail employment could be really grim over the holiday season.