Miami-Dade jobs shoot skyward, led by construction
Late 2018 Miami-Dade jobs data shot skyward in virtually every category, as unemployment fell to its lowest level since at least 2007, the labor force grew but those at work increased even faster, and construction gains put thousands more back to work over the past year.
The county’s workforce, which had contracted for several months, grew by 6,600 people in November to 1,364,300, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the number of people actually on the job grew by 11,300 in the month to 1,308,900.
The gains pushed county unemployment down to 3.2%, lower than anything in the federal data bank for the county stretching back more than a decade, and perhaps much farther. That left the number unemployed at 44,200, a fraction of the 151,466 unemployed here in August 2009 at the depths of the Great Recession, when the jobless rate was 12.4%.
Leading the job growth has been construction, with a 12-month jobs gain here of 16.7%, an added 7,900 jobs to total 55,200.
Total construction starts in South Florida in November alone were worth $613.9 million, according to Dodge Data & Analytics, up 41% in starts from November 2017. Nonresidential construction starts values rose 47% in the month and residential rose 36%.
For the first 11 months of 2018, total construction values rose 14% – still a bit slower than the pace of construction job gains. Nonresidential starts for the first 11 months were unchanged in value from 2017, but the value of residential starts rose 28%, Dodge reported. Those total starts in the tri-county area were valued at nearly $10.5 billion.
While our construction jobs gain was rapid, the total of jobs added in the sector paled beside the 24,000 for the Houston area in the past 12 months or the 17,500 in Phoenix, 14,800 in Dallas or 11,100 in Orlando, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.