Construction Employment Lags In Arizona, Strong In Nevada And Stable In New Mexico
December 29, 2016
Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico were three of 34 states that added construction jobs year over year in November. In the Southwest, only Arizona and Nevada added construction jobs year over year in October.
New Mexico was the only state in the Southwest to post monthly employment gains in construction in November. This came after only 23 states - including New Mexico and Nevada - and Washington, D.C. added construction jobs between September and October.
After leading the nation in month over month job growth rate in September, the construction industry in Arizona showed a 0.0% growth rate in October. The industry then shed 2,600 jobs in November, according to seasonally-adjusted numbers from the Associated General Contractors of America.
Arizona’s construction employment growth rate between October and November of -2.7% ranked 50th nationally when compared to other states and Washington, D.C.
The yearly indicators for the industry are more positive as the state’s construction sector added 10,500 jobs between October 2015 and October 2016. Employment in the industry then grew by 4,800 jobs year-over-year in November. Arizona’s seasonally-adjusted construction employment growth rate of 3.5% in November ranked 21st nationally.
The overall employment picture in Arizona was more positive as the state’s unemployment rate fell from 5.5% in September to 5.2% in October. The rate then fell to 5.0% in November. Employment in the state also grew for month over month in both October (+28,000 jobs) and November (+16,800 jobs), buoyed by gains in Trade, Transportation and Utilities and Professional and Business Services, according to the state’s monthly employment report.
Nevada ranked 1st in the nation with a 4.7% month over month construction employment growth rate in October, adding 3,600 jobs during that span, according to figures from the Associated General Contractors of America. That growth did not carry over into November as the state shed 400 jobs in the sector. Overall, Nevada added 1,000 seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs between September and October, and added another 3,200 jobs in November.
Nevada continues to show steady year over year employment growth in construction. October’s yearly job growth rate of 12.9% ranked second nationally; November’s rate of 11.7% ranked first nationally, according to seasonally-adjusted numbers from the Associated General Contractors of America. The industry’s growth comes in contrast to limited overall yearly employment growth in the state.
“Despite the somewhat slowed job growth over-the-year, the state has exceeded national job gains for 51 consecutive months,” says Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Research and Analysis Bureau of the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, in the state’s October employment report. “Year-to-date, construction continues to lead the industrial super sectors in terms of percentage growth, up 9.9 percent over the same period last year, which equates to a gain of 6,800 jobs.”
Nevada’s unemployment rate fell from 5.5% in October to 5.2% in November. It currently sits 0.6% above the national rate.
New Mexico showed some month-over-month employment growth in construction in October, adding 200 jobs. The state’s construction industry then added 400 jobs in November. That was good for a 0.9% growth rate that ranked 17th nationally, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.
The yearly returns were more mixed as New Mexico shed 100 construction jobs between October 2015 and October 2016 but then added 600 jobs year over year in November. The state’s yearly construction employment growth rate in November of 1.4% ranked 28th nationally.
Despite two straight months of monthly non-farm employment growth, New Mexico has also experienced two straight months of year over year employment losses. The state shed 2,900 non-farm jobs between October 2015 and October 2016 and lost 2,300 jobs between November 2015 and November 2016, according to the state’s monthly employment release.
On a monthly basis, the state saw the unemployment rate drop from 5.0% in September of to 4.9% in October. The rate then fell to 4.6% in November, which is a 0.4% decrease compared to the same time last year.