Employment Growth Steady, but Construction Jobs Plummet

December 8, 2006 (Jobs Byte)

Employment Growth Steady, but Construction Jobs Plummet

Jobs Byte by Dean Baker

For Immediate Release: December 8, 2006

Contact: Dan Beeton, 202-293-5380 x 104 


The establishment survey showed the economy adding 132,000 jobs in November, bringing average growth over the last three months to 138,000. Private sector employment growth has averaged 104,000 over this period, as the government sector has been adding 34,000 jobs per month.

The overall employment picture in this report is mixed. Manufacturing lost 15,000 jobs in November and is now down 95,000 jobs (all production workers) from its peak in June. The job decline is compounded by a fall in the average workweek. As a result, hours in manufacturing have been declining at a 4.6 percent annual rate over the last 4 months.

Construction was also hard hit, losing 29,000 jobs in November, after losing 24,000 jobs in October. This is the largest 2-month decline since the sector lost 70,000 jobs in April-May of 2002.  All sectors of construction employment are now shedding jobs, although the residential sector has been most affected, losing 110,000 jobs since its February peak.

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