AgentMarkets & Economy

Skilled workers flee home construction

Filling jobs with qualified tradesmen won't be easy, experts say

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Arizona, along with Florida, Las Vegas, Southern California and Michigan, as most people know, has been one of the places in the country hardest hit by the popping of the housing and mortgage bubble. So, it was interesting to see that in an early summer employment report, construction jobs in Arizona had finally begun to stabilize. In June 2011, construction jobs totaled 112,500, down just 0.3 percent from 112,800 in June 2010, according to the state's major newspaper, The Arizona Republic. The decline was so slight, the data indicated a plateau. Arizona is not out of line with the rest of the country. Job data from Bureau of Labor Statistics shows construction hires in June hit 348,000, which is a good sign considering May construction hires were revised upward to 355,000, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).NAHB also noted that, considering all the construction hiring through the first six months of 2011, this could be the first year since the...