The figures released last Friday by the US Labor Department reveal that it was the best gain in 11 months, prompting Kushi to comment that if the recovery maintained this monthly pace “we would return to the pre-COVID employment peak by February 2022”.
However, she stressed that the construction industry was hamstrung by a persistent shortage of skilled labor.
Speaking to MPA, she said: “Residential building jobs increased 0.9% month over month in July and have surpassed pre-COVID levels, but it’s not enough.
“Since the great recession, residential construction has faced this persistent labor shortage. A lot of the people that lost their jobs (then) did not come back, and that has really left this large deficit of skilled labor.”
Kushi pointed out that the specialty trade contractors, involved in hiring people for such crucial tasks as pouring concrete, plumbing, painting and electrical work, had in fact failed to create any jobs in July.