Construction employment has essentially been steady for the last year after a million new jobs were added during the previous two years.
Contractors cut 62,000 jobs in February, but that decrease only offset hiring earlier in the winter that was driven by warm weather. The number of construction jobs is likely to stay near the February level through most of the year and then post a small 60,000 increase in 2008.
Wage demand pressure will taper off later this year as construction labor is more readily available and workers recover from the erosion of buying power caused by higher energy prices. The total employment change is the net of 130,000 new jobs in the nonresidential markets and 130,000 fewer jobs in the residential market.