Home Building Up, but Construction Hiring Down

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In New Jersey, construction building has been on the rise, but hiring has actually declined.  However, it is believed to pick up soon.

"We're still anticipating increased hiring in the construction trades in the second half of the year.  It's a little bit puzzling that we haven't seen it already," said Patrick O'Keefe, economist.

According to the Associated General Contractors of America, New Jersey had the largest drop in construction jobs over a 12 month period, ending in June.  They lost 11,200 jobs (8%) of the construction jobs available.  The job loss came despite the fact that home construction approvals are 29% ahead of last year's pace.

Multi-family homes (61% of construction activity) are driving the surge in construction.  Millenials are living with their families longer and present day families are appreciating the flexibilities of renting in a multi-family home.  In addition, many people are unable to get approved for mortgages to purchase single-family homes.

Construction hiring could be lagging because of the multi-family construction trend.  These homes are built in stages, and stretch out the hiring process.  An additional cause of the lack of construction jobs is the lagging commercial construction market.

With national construction spending up 7.8% from this time last year, it is expected that construction hiring will eventually catch up.