Friday, January 26, 2007

Construction Layoffs In Last Unemployment report

For the last few months, I've been looking at the weekly unemployment reports to see how the housing slowdown is impacting construction employment. There have been some pretty sizable layoffs, and last week was no exception.

California had 10,000+ layoffs in "construction and service" employment.

Minnesota had Pennsylvania had 4000+ layoffs in construction or "construction, trade and service."

Florida had 3400 layoffs in "construction, trade, service, and manufacturing industries."

I am expecting this slow bleed to continued for some time. We've had a rash of homebuilding companies report very negative numbers for the 4th quarter. While housing inventory decreased in the latest existing homes survey, it's still had very high levels. Sales in 2006 dropped the most in over a decade. In other words, the soft landing for housing is still suspect.