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County construction employment up slightly in October

San Diego County construction employment rebounded in October, according to the latest data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Last month, there were 58,300 construction employees in the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos metro area, up 200 from September. The number of workers dropped from August to September by 400 jobs, after reaching an annual high of 58,500 employees in August, the most since 2009.

There were 55,200 construction employees locally in October 2011, 3,100 less than October 2012.

Looking at the last 10 years, January 2012 saw the lowest construction employment in the region with 52,900 jobs; June 2006 had the highest employment with 95,100 jobs.

Local average construction employment in 2011 was 55,200 jobs, the lowest in the last 10 years. The highest average was in 2006 with 92,700 construction jobs. Ten years ago, construction employment was averaging 76,400 jobs.

So far this year, the average number of construction employees has been 56,100 workers.

Construction employment decreased from one month to the next just twice this year. The first time was from March to April when employment decreased by 100 workers.

Construction employment numbers were mixed throughout the other metro areas in Southern California.

The Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine metro area grew in employment by 1,200 workers in October from September with a total of 70,800 employees last month, the most since July 2011.

The other two metro areas in Southern California did not show growth in October.

The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario area reported 59,700 construction workers in October, down 3,000 employees from September. Employment had gone up five out of the last six months prior to October, with the high coming in July at 63,000 jobs. A year ago this region had 60,100 construction employees.

The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale metro area showed a slight decline. Last month there were 107,100 workers, 100 fewer than in September. After a one-year high in employment at 111,200 employees in June, this area has since seen a decrease in jobs.

However, construction employment did grow when compared to the same time last year. In October 2011, 105,900 workers were reported, a growth of 1,200 employees year over year.

Overall in California, construction employment fell by 500 jobs from September to October. However, there were 27,600 more jobs last month than in October 2011. So far this year, September had the highest employment at 598,000 jobs, the most since October 2009.

San Diego County construction employment increased to 58,300 employees in October from an upwardly revised 58,100 in September. County construction employment is 5.6 percent higher than October 2011 and 28.3 percent lower than December 2007, showing the depth of the recession’s impact on the local construction industry. The National Bureau of Economic Research announced the recession ended in June 2009, yet the San Diego construction industry has 3,400 fewer construction jobs than 40 months ago. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Compiled by Jenny Ross

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