Builders Hanging Help-Wanted Signs as Industry Rebounds

Construction employment in the U.S. is poised to rebound as a swelling pipeline of projects prompts companies to expand.

Builders in October had the most job openings and broke ground on more homes than at any time in four years, government data show. Billing by architecture firms, which typically leads construction by at least nine months, is climbing at the fastest pace since December 2010.

Builders Hanging Help-Wanted Signs as Industry Rebounds
Builders Hanging Help-Wanted Signs as Industry Rebounds

“You have a lot of projects right now in design and development, and as soon as the financing hits and the approvals are out, then the shovels go in the ground,” said Suzanne Breistol, co-owner of ConstructionConnection.com, a Marble Falls, Texas-based employment consulting service.

While construction payrolls accounted for 4.1 percent of all U.S. employment in November, a six-decade low, industry hiring will ripple through the world’s largest economy, prompting manufacturers, retailers, landscapers, real-estate brokers and transportation companies to also take on staff, according to economist Mark Zandi.  About 250,000 construction and related jobs will be created in 2013, 13 percent of the 1.93 million Zandi projects the U.S. will add.

“Construction is a small share of the job market, but it can be a very large share of job growth, particularly when the construction industry is in an upswing,” said Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “A big share of the improvement in jobs growth that I anticipate will come from construction and anything related.”

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