Created: 12/30/2013 5:31 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Construction jobs – they withered up and blew away in the recession, but now they’re leading the charge in new job creation in Albuquerque.
In November, the U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics reports almost 20,000 people were working construction jobs in the Albuquerque metro area. That’s up about 1,500 from a year earlier, an increase of almost nine percent. It’s still a far cry from the 30,000 or so working construction in the pre-recession peak years, but these are good-paying jobs that reflect an economy that’s thawing out.
“Construction jobs are great for the community," said John Garcia of the central New Mexico Homebuilders Association. “It means things are moving. There’s some speculative development happening now, whereas before it was just kind of stay within what the market is. We’re seeing a little mopre confidence, I think, both from the developers’ side and the consumers’ side.”
“To have the economy back to where we want it to be we have to have a robust housing market,” said Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, himself an old construction hand and company owner. “A lot of these construction jobs are in housing, and a lot of these construction jobs are also in projects like Paseo and I-25 and the Convention Center.”
Other job sectors on the rise are leisure and hospitality, financial activities and Professional and business servives. Showing little or no growth are education and health services – and government jobs. Manufacturing continued to slide in the 12 months between November 2012 and November 2013 , to the tune of almost six percent.