Jump in construction jobs helps California boost employment


Jump in construction jobs helps California boost employment
Jump in construction jobs helps California boost employment

The four-county Sacramento region of California reported a lower unemployment rate in July compared with the same month last year, which was supported by a major increase in construction staffing, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.

According to the news source, Californians in the Sacramento area had an appetite for new homes in July, which spurred a 4.9 percent month-over-month increase, and 9.4 percent yearly increase, in the amount of construction jobs. New buildings helped employ the most construction workers, with a 20 percent jump in building construction payrolls compared with July 2011.

In Sacramento, Placer, Yolo and El Dorado counties, the unemployment rate rate fell last month to 10.7 percent. Although not a significant decrease from June's 10.8 percent, it marks a major fall from the jobless rate of 12.3 percent reported in July of last year.

In addition to the construction industry, administrative staffing also saw large gains, increasing by 10 percent compared with July 2011, while local education employment rose 25.5 percent on the year. Healthcare continued to reign as a leader in job creation, employing a total of 92,300 people in region, compared with 89,700 in the same period last year.

But the construction sector was among the top hirers, the media outlet stated, adding about 2,000 jobs last month, echoing similar increases that were reported in the prior month. In June, the Sacramento region reported the largest monthly jobs gain since May 2006. This jump in employment is augmented when compared with the lows from which it sprung, though. Last month, the construction industry employed about 40,800 people - much lower than the record 76,600 in employed in September 2005.

"Even a modest increase looks like big gains," said Ryan Sharp, director of the Center for Strategic Economic Research, which works with Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization. Sharp added that the jobs recovery in the region started in March, when for the first time in 54 months, the year-over-year increases rose from negative territory.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the state of California added a total of 25,000 jobs in July, marking the 12th consecutive month of gains despite a tepid national labor market.