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Construction jobs in Boston looking healthy

Posted on January 30, 2013

A recent survey focuses on a slow but steady outgrowth of construction jobs in Boston.

LeaseQ, a provider of commercial and construction equipment leasing and financing, is forecasting a slow but steady improvement for the construction industry in 2013. This based on data that may be signaling the end of a five year hemorrhaging of jobs from the market.

The government’s monthly jobs reports, released last week, showed modest growth in December, with the economy adding 155,000 jobs. The unemployment rate remained at 7.8%.

One fifth of the jobs created were in the construction market, making this only the third time since the end of the recession in June of 2009 that the industry has added more than 30,000 workers. The hiring surge capped off one of the largest gains ever seen over a three month period since the recession began in 2007.

“These jobs have been the backbone of the middle class for many, many years,” said Arne L. Kalleberg, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of “Good Jobs, Bad Jobs.” “Now they’re coming back.”

The number of new homes under construction hit a record 800,000 in September, the first time that particular milestone had been reached in more than 4 years, and it remained there throughout the fall. Permits are being applied for on more the 900,000 homes, and housing prices in hard hit areas such as Phoenix AZ have actually risen for 13 months in a row.

Imrpovements like this are seen as a means to help the high unemployment rate among young men, which is one of the areas of the unemployment populace that has been slow to recover. It is believed that the current construction boom will give this demographic more of a chance in 2013.