N. California College of Construction News Blog

See the Difference a Small College can Make!

May 19, 2013

Posted by nahetsblog on May 19, 2013

Jobless rate drops to low last hit in ’08

By Reed Fujii

San Joaquin County’s unemployment rate dropped to 12.9 percent in April, the lowest monthly jobless rate posted by the region since the global financial collapse more than four years ago, state officials reported Friday.

Normal seasonal gains in construction and farm hiring helped push unemployment down from a revised 14 percent in March. Still, April’s was the lowest rate since December 2008, when it also stood at 12.9 percent. And it’s much improved from April 2012, when unemployment was estimated at 15.5 percent.

The area’s job market recovery is gaining strength, said Jeffrey Michael, director of the Business Forecasting Center at University of the Pacific.

"This is not spectacular, but it looks pretty good," he said Friday in reviewing new labor market data from the state Employment Development Department.

"It’s been a long recession," he said. "Twelve-point-nine percent unemployment, … you feel a little awkward getting excited about it, but it feels pretty good compared to what we’ve been talking about for the last couple of years."

And the job picture should improve in May as well as farm and construction activity continues to increase, said Nati Martinez, a labor market analyst for the EDD. "That’s the normal seasonal trends for springtime," she said Friday.

From March to April, the county saw a gain of 500 construction jobs and an addition of 400 in agriculture.

"Almost all of the sectors aside from farm and construction had minimal increases," Martinez said.

More significant and broader changes were noted over the past year.

It’s estimated that San Joaquin County private-sector employers added 3,700 workers to the payrolls, a gain of 2.4 percent, in the past year.

Among major industrial sectors, trade, transportation and utilities posted the largest year-over-year gain – 1,600 jobs – which includes 900 trucking company employees and 200 additional workers each in wholesale trade, retail trade and warehousing. Construction employment gained 900 workers over the year.

The professional and business services sector added 700 jobs, mostly in administrative and support, and waste services, which include temporary-help agencies and janitorial services. That is one sector that often leads a jobs recovery.

Also, the leisure and hospitality sector grew by 600 employees, with most of those, 500, in restaurants and bars.

Michael said there is a divergence in the state’s employment data.

One set, based on a survey of San Joaquin County households, pegs civilian employment growth at 3.2 percent in April compared to the same month a year ago.

The other, a sampling of area payroll tax records, shows only a 1.9 percent gain in nonfarm employment over the same period.

The difference could be explained as an error caused by the two different sampling methods, Michael said. But the household survey also catches workers left out of the payroll survey, such as those who commute to work outside the county and, in particular, the self-employed.

Self-employment figures prominently in construction, agriculture, professional services and financial activities, particularly real estate.

"And those are some of the areas … that are the fastest-growing," Michael said. "Perhaps what we are seeing here is a shift to self-employment and faster growth in self-employment (categories)."

San Joaquin County’s monthly jobless rate of 12.9 percent for April compares with seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates for California of 8.5 percent and 7.1 percent for the nation overall.

In reporting the more commonly cited seasonally adjusted rates for California, the EDD said Friday that in April the jobless rate dropped to 9 percent compared with 9.4 percent in March. In April 2012, the state unemployment rate was 10.7 percent.

The adjusted U.S. unemployment rate in April was 7.5 percent.

700 more construction jobs reported than last April

By Carlos Rico

Construction employment jumped by 700 workers in the county from a year ago, but there was no change from March to April, according data released from the California Development Department on Friday.

Last month there were 56,200 construction jobs in San Diego, and the county’s construction employment increased by 1.3 percent from April of last year.

“The housing revival did boost jobs in real estate, but the flat showing in construction last month was disappointing,” said Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Point Loma Nazarene University.

April’s employment report also revised March’s job number and found that there were 300 fewer jobs than in February.

It was previously announced by the state that there were 56,500 jobs in March and February.

The state previously announced there were 56,500 jobs in March and February.

In the last 10 years, the county’s highest employment was in June 2006, when there were 95,100 construction jobs.

January 2011 reported the lowest construction employment numbers in the last 10 years with 53,600 jobs.

Of the 56,200 construction jobs reported last month, 38,300 of them were specialty trade contractors, 12,300 were made up of general contractors, and 5,600 were from heavy and civil engineering firms. All these categories were divided the same as in March.

Of the 38,300 specialty trade contractors, 16,500 were building equipment workers, 10,200 were those that perform finishing touches on projects, 6,800 work on building foundation and exterior labor, and 4,800 execute residual and other specialty trade work.

Ken Simonson, chief economist for Associated General Contractors, said the construction industry is showing some signs of recovery, but that employment is uneven.

“Recent federal construction spending cuts amid still modest private sector growth is making it hard for the industry to recover in more areas,” he said.

In Riverside and San Bernardino counties, construction employment was at 57,300 construction jobs in April, down 300 from March and down 1,800 from a year ago.

Orange County registered 73,000 construction jobs last month, 900 more than in March and 4,900 from April of last year.

In Los Angeles County, there were 115,300 construction jobs last month, an increase of 2,300 workers from March and a gain of 9,400 workers from last year.

California’s construction employment was at 608,400 workers in April, up 1.2 percent from March and up 8.5 percent from a year ago.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: