February 26, 2010

Puzzling Claim that Construction Jobs are In Demand

Yahoo has an article titled Blue Collar Jobs in Demand for 2010.   The article says that the jobs on the list  are those that "experts say are most in demand this year".   The list of jobs is basically a list of construction industry careers:  Plumber, Elevator installer, Carpenter, Electrician, HVAC and Roofer.  The only other non construction industry job on the list is auto mechanics.

The problem I have with this article is that these construction jobs are not really in demand today.   According to the BLS, the current unemployment rate in 2009 for the construction industry was 19.0%... 19%!!   That 19% unemployment rate was nearly double the national unemployment level in 2009.   Not only is it very high its actually the worst among all industries in the BLS list.   I honestly don't know how anyone could say that jobs in an industry with the highest unemployment rate of 19% are "in demand".  Is there something I'm missing here? 

On the other hand longer term construction jobs will have pretty good demand.   BLS info on the Construction industry says "The number of wage and salary jobs in the construction industry is expected to grow 19 percent through the year 2018, compared with the 11 percent projected for all industries combined."   So over the next 8 years you should see good job opportunity in construction.    You'll also see lots of job opportunity due to retiring baby boomers, the BLS says opportunity will be good "because of the need to replace the large number of workers anticipated to leave these occupations over the next decade."

Construction jobs are not what I'd consider "in demand" right now.  The demand for construction labor should be pretty healthy over the upcoming decade.

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