NC construction employment drops


Construction employment in North Carolina dropped by 200 jobs during August, a 0.1 percent decline that placed it among 24 states with employment losses in the building sector last month, according to data from The Associated General Contractors of America.

The Charlotte Business Journal reports the loss during August put the 12-month drop in construction employment for the state at 5,600 jobs, which leaves it ranked 37th nationally in construction-employment changes, with a 3.2 percent drop. Nationwide, 22 states added construction jobs last month, and 26 have seen employment in the sector grow during the past 12 months.

“There is no clear pattern of improvement in construction employment, although the industry is no longer in free-fall,” Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, says.

The Charlotte market lost 4 percent of its construction jobs in the 12 months ending in August. That’s a percentage point more than the state’s 3 percent decline.

The Charlotte-Gaston-Rock Hill area saw its construction work force drop to 36,606 from 38,100 during the year, according to the Associated General Contractors. Only two N.C. areas added construction jobs. Winston-Salem saw a 3 percent increase, while Raleigh-Cary had a 2 percent hike.

Wilmington led the state in percentage drop in its construction workforce, shrinking by 17 percent. Asheville’s jobs decreased by 10 percent. North Carolina shed 4,900 construction jobs by falling to 174,500 workers, a 3 percent loss. South Carolina experienced a 1 percent drop.

North Carolina’s construction-industry job losses last month are part of a broader rise in unemployment. The N.C. Employment Security Commission said the state’s unemployment rate rose to 10.4 percent in August from 10.1 percent in July. A year earlier, the statewide jobless rate was 9.1 percent. The N.C. economy gained a net 16,500 jobs last month, led by a 13,600-employee increase in the government sector, the ESC says. But the number of unemployed N.C. residents grew by 11,747 during August, increasing to 468,140, the agency says.

As previously reported, unemployment in the Charlotte region dipped to 11.2 percent in July from 11.3 percent in June. And Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate was 11.1 percent, down from 11.2 percent in June, according to the state ESC. Read More.