NAHETS Blog

National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Services, NAHETS Blog

June 13, 2013

Posted by nahetsblog on June 13, 2013

Temp Help, Oil And Gas, Construction, And Motor Vehicles Show Strong Job Growth

1. Temporary help services employment increased by 25,600 jobs in May, following increases of 26,400 in April and 19,500 in March and 27,500 in February, bringing the total number of temporary jobs last month to a new record high of 2.68 million (see chart below). Compared to May last year, temporary help employment has increased by 186,000 jobs and by 7.5%, which is almost five times the overall payroll growth of 1.6% over the last 12 months. On a daily basis, U.S. employers have been hiring an average of more than 715 temporary workers every business day over the last year. Since the recession ended and temporary help employment fell to a cyclical low, U.S. employers hired almost one million temporary workers over the last four years.

As a leading indicator of overall U.S. labor market demand, the ongoing positive trend in temporary hiring is a sign that the labor market is showing some gradual signs of improvement, and suggests an increased pace of broader-based hiring for workers going forward in 2013. It’s also likely that many employees who initially get hired on a temporary or contract basis will be offered employment on a full-time, permanent basis as the economy continues to improve.

2. Construction employment in May increased by 7,000 jobs to an employment level of 5.79 million, the highest construction payroll level since August 2009, more than four years ago. Over the last year, construction employment has increased by 189,000 jobs and by 3.4%, more than twice the overall 1.6% national rate of payroll growth. Except for a slightly higher annual increase of 3.6% in January 2012, the 3.4% year-over-year gain in construction payrolls was the highest yearly percentage increase since September 2006. Since May of last year, construction companies nationwide have been hiring at a pace of 727 new construction workers every business day. The increased demand for construction workers reflects the housing rebound that took hold last year, and which is starting to gain momentum this year.

3. Along with an increased demand for construction workers, there has also been a strong increase in the hiring of workers for "architectural and engineering services." In May, payrolls for architects and engineers increased by 4,900 jobs, bringing total employment for those workers to 1.35 million, which is the highest employment level since March 2009, more than four years ago.

4. In the area durable manufacturing, jobs in the auto industry ("motor vehicles and parts") increased by 2,400 in May and by 26,300 over the last year, which is an annual employment increase of 3.4% and more than twice the overall growth of 1.6% for all U.S. payrolls over that period. U.S. automakers have been hiring at a pace of more than 100 new workers every day over the last year.

5. Reflecting America’s shale revolution, oil and gas extraction payrolls increased in May to 193,800 — the highest employment level for those jobs since August 1988, more than 24 years ago. Over the last year, oil and gas companies have hired 8,600 new employees at a rate of 33 every day, and payrolls have increased by 4.4% from May 2012 to May 2013, more than three times the national average increase in payrolls of 1.6% over that period.

temp

Although overall U.S. job growth continues to be weak, we are seeing strong job growth in some sectors of the economy — temporary help services, construction, architectural and engineering services, motor vehicles, and oil and gas extraction. Together, those five sectors added 40,600 jobs in May, which represents more than 23% of the overall increase in U.S. payrolls last month of 175,000. Looking forward, we can expect increased hiring in those sectors, as America’s energy revolution continues, the housing recovery gains momentum, and auto production and sales continue on an upward trajectory.

Construction unemployment at lowest level in five years

Construction employers added 7,000 jobs in May 2013 and have added 189,000 since May 2012, moving the sector to its lowest unemployment rate since August of 2009 — 10.8 percent.

Associated General Contractors of America officials said the analysis of new government data marks a relatively positive report for the sector, although there is still a concern about potential shortages of skilled workers.

“Although the monthly job gain in May was modest, both residential and nonresidential construction have been adding workers at roughly double the rate of the overall economy in the past year,” Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said. “At the same time, formerly unemployed construction workers are finding jobs in other sectors, retiring or going back to school. These conditions may lead abruptly to worker shortages in parts of the industry, such as welders and pipefitters.”

Construction employment in May totaled 5.8 million, an increase of 189,000 or 3.4 percent over the past year. The unemployment rate for workers who last worked in construction dropped to 10.8 percent from 14.2 percent in May 2012, while the number of unemployed construction workers shrank over the year by 259,000 to 891,000.

Employment expanded in both residential and nonresidential construction in May.

The latest local data show that construction-related employment in the Duke City area increased from April 2012 to April 2013 by 1,000 jobs to 19,600, and the state gained 2,100 construction jobs during the same time period, going from 41,000 to 43,100. But the totals are still well below New Mexico’s peak, which was 61,000 in 2007.

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