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NAR jobs report: Nearly all U.S. states saw gains in August

Construction jobs still trailing pre-crisis highs

All U.S. states except Vermont had job gains in August, led by 3% increases in Nevada and Utah, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Despite the strong labor market, wages aren’t keeping up with home-price gains. Average weekly wages rose 2.9% compared to the 4.7% price appreciation of the median home sales price, the report said.

In total, payrolls increased by 2.1 million from one year ago, according to the group’s State Employment Monitor. All industries had job gains except for utilities and retail trade.

The top gainers were: Health care and social assistance, up 533,000 jobs from a year ago; professional and technical services, up 293,400; accommodation and food services, up 255,900; and construction, up 177,000.

The total number of construction jobs stood at 6.4 million on a seasonally adjusted level in August, which is 300,000 below the 6.7 million peak in April 2006, the report said.

“The lack of construction workers has been a major roadblock to housing construction,” NAR said in the report.

As an indicator of housing shortage, there were more than 2 net new jobs for each new housing unit constructed in 17 states, led by Rhode Island at 9 net new jobs.

New Hampshire and Massachusetts had 4 net new jobs for every housing unit, followed by New Mexico, New York and California, which all had close to 3 net new jobs per unit.

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