Thursday, March 31, 2011

Construction jobs down 35 percent from peak, hospitality jobs grow

As we showed last week, overall employment in Colorado continues to fall from its 2008 peak. The unemployment rate has now exceeded the national rate, and statewide employment is now down more than 220,000 jobs from the peak.

At the Division of Housing, we keep an eye on industries that are often connected to affordable housing and real estate trends.

Today, we'll look at job creation in the following industries: construction, leisure and hospitality, and retail.

Construction is a key indicator since it is connected to housing production. The construction jobs examined below include non-residential construction.

In the first chart, it is clear that, as of February 2011, construction jobs continue to be well below the 2007 peak. Since construction jobs peaked during July 2007, construction jobs have fallen 35 percent, or 60,000 jobs, down to post-recession low of 109,000 jobs. From February 2010 to February 2011, construction jobs have fallen 7.5 percent, or 8,900 jobs.

Retail jobs, and jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry are key factors in the rural resort economies, and are also important statewide as sources of income for low-income households. In the chart below, we see that retail jobs have been largely flat since early 2010, while remaining well below the 2008 peak in retail jobs.

Leisure and hospitality jobs, on the other hand, have recovered somewhat since early 2010.

In leisure and hospitality, total jobs are now down 2.5 percent, or about 900 jobs, from the June 2008 peak. From February 2010 to February 2011, total jobs increased 3.1 percent, or about 8,000 jobs.

In retail, however, jobs have been flat since February 2010. From February of last year to February 2011, total employment in retail is down about 400 jobs (is essentially flat). Since the February 2008 peak, retail jobs are down 8.2 percent, or about 19,000 jobs.