Construction employment across the Southwest dipped in December, with a loss of nearly 1,600 jobs from November to December 2014 across the three-state region. According to data by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction employment experienced losses month-to-month, including 200 in Arizona, 1,000 in Nevada and 400 in New Mexico.

In 2014, the region collectively about 1,300 jobs: Arizona lost the most jobs in the region, at 4,400, while Nevada gained 4,600 jobs and New Mexico lost about 1,500.


Arizona’s construction sector continues to struggle. Although more than 7,000 jobs were added state-wide in December, according to seasonally adjusted employment statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction sector lost 200 jobs, trailing larger losses in the leisure/hospitality and manufacturing sectors.

Year-over-year, however, the data reveals a bleaker picture of job losses in the construction sector.             

“Construction shed 4,400 jobs over the year, the largest loss of any sector. This was also the eighth consecutive month of over-the-year losses. The over-the-year average for 2014 was a net loss of 1,900 jobs. Gains in Heavy Construction of 900 jobs was offset by losses in Specialty Trade (-3,100 jobs) and Construction of Buildings (-2,200 jobs),” according to a report by the Arizona Department of Administration.

Heavy Construction was a bright spot in 2014, however, with a gain of 900 jobs. However, those gains were tempered by losses in specialty trade (-3,100 jobs) and construction of buildings (-2,200 jobs).


According to seasonally adjusted employment statistics from the U.S,. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4,600 more construction jobs year-over-year from Dec. 2013 to Dec. 2014, an increase of 7.7%. Monthly, however, jobs dipped slightly from November to December 2014, but only by about 1,000 jobs. Peak employment in the construction sector occurred in September when construction employment rolls in the state swelled to 64,300.

December 2014 proved to be the peak for construction employment in the Las Vegas statistical area, with 45,200 jobs. The low was in January when 39,700 were employed in the construction sector. Reno-Sparks hit their peak of construction jobs in September 2014 when 12,000 were employed in the construction sector. In December, 10,300 were employed.

The highlights in the construction sector are encouraging Nevada analysts to report that the future is bright in the Silver State.

“For the entire year, private sector job growth came to 38,200 relative to all of 2013,” says Bill Anderson, chief economist for Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. “When we consider the latest available data, through the second quarter of 2014, Nevada’s private sector is growing at 3.7 percent relative to the same period in 2013, making us the state with the third-fastest growing private sector in the nation.”


New Mexico                                                      

Construction employment in New Mexico is showing signs of strength with statistics for the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting employment increased for the second straight month year-over-year after nine months of negative year-over-year growth. From December 2013 to December 2014, New Mexico added 800 jobs.

Month-to-month, however, New Mexico experienced a loss of about 400 jobs from November to December 2014.