Construction employment slowed in April as the industry added 1,000 jobs. The Northwest experienced the reality of that slowdown as Oregon was the only state in the region to post construction employment growth between March and April. Oregon joined 21 other states that experienced construction employment growth in April.

“Some of the slowdown in hiring last month was due to mild winter weather that allowed contractors to hire or retain workers in the first quarter instead of waiting until spring,” said Ken Simonson, the Associated General Contractors chief economist. “Yet reports from contractors and recent Census Bureau data on construction spending through March suggest industry demand for workers will remain robust, if firms can find employees with the right skills.”

Oregon construction industry added 1,000 seasonally-adjusted jobs in Oregon in April, making it one of five sectors in the state to add at least 1,000 jobs month over month, according to the State of Oregon Employment Department’s monthly employment press release. Oregon’s 1.2% month over month growth rate in construction employment ranks eighth nationally.

The year over year numbers also show a positive trend for the construction industry in Oregon. The state added 5,600 construction jobs in April compared to the same time last year. That 5.6% growth rate ranks 13th nationally compared to other states and Washington D.C., according to The Associated General Contractors of America.

Overall, Oregon experienced a significant drop in the unemployment rate as the rate dropped from 5.7% in April 2015 to 4.5% in April 2016. That seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged from the previous month. Oregon added 63,500 total jobs over that period.

May 25, 2016, John Guzzon