Minnesota construction staffing bucks the national trend

09.12.2012


Minnesota construction staffing bucks the national trend
Minnesota construction staffing bucks the national trend

Although overall hiring remains sluggish, Minnesota's construction industry has picked up in recent months, and the most recent government data show the industry is one of the best in the state for job prospects, Finance and Commerce reports.

According to the news source, a recent survey showed the Twin Cities region was one of the few areas of the U.S. where construction staffing is ticking up, despite the falling job prospects in many other sectors.

Dave Semerad, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of Minnesota, stated that several new projects are helping to bolster construction staffing, including the $957 million Central Corridor light rail that will soon be built in St. Paul.

"There are some multifamily, healthcare and hospitality related projects around town. Specialty contractors are doing better on repair, renovation and retrofit work. Repairs that had been delayed are under way," Semerad said.

According to the media outlet, 20 percent of employers in the area say they expect to hire more workers in the last three months of the year, a 12 percent increase compared with employer sentiment at this point last year. Statewide, 17 percent of employers expect to hire before 2013.

Many believe employers are putting off hiring plans until the next U.S. president is elected, the European financial crisis is resolved and federal tax increases go into effect.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development stated that job vacancies have climbed 15 percent from the second quarter of last year. In 2012, there were 63,000 open positions - the highest level seen since before the recession in 2007. In the three month period ended June 30, construction jobs only comprised 3.9 percent of all job openings, however that number has grown to 7.1 percent in the last year, the news source stated.

Nationwide, the construction industry was among the sectors that saw relatively no change from the previous month, the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows. Other industries whose employment remained stable include mining and logging, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information and government.

Total employment grew by 96,000 last month, with the strongest gains noted in the food services and drinking places sector, as well as in professional technical services and healthcare.

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