10: The number of consecutive months that the construction sector has shown year-over-year job growth.
The signs of a bottom in the housing market are piling up, and after Friday’s employment report we can add construction jobs to the pile.
The most widely reported construction numbers weren’t particularly encouraging. Although there was a small 2,000 monthly gain in June, that followed four months of moderate declines. That doesn’t exactly scream recovery. To see the broader trend we need to look a little deeper.
The monthly numbers include a seasonal adjustment factor included by the Labor Department in an effort to smooth out the figures. Usually that’s a big help to gauge what’s going on, since weather plays an outsized role in construction. During the spring and the summer hiring easily outpaces the colder months. But this year, the effort to smooth out the figures was complicated. Because the winter was so mild, some hiring that would have occurred later in the year was pulled earlier. So even though there were declines in the spring, we saw increases in December and January.