Since April 2015, job growth has been rapid in construction (+7,900 jobs, or 9.6%). Last month construction gained 1,000 jobs. Despite the strong job growth, construction has yet to regain its pre-recession employment levels.
This chart is about construction employment during housing busts and their recoveries. It compares construction employment in Oregon during the Great Recession (purple line) with construction employment during the early 1980s recession (green line). We set the pre-recession level of employment at 100, and employment is each month is relative to the pre-recession peak level.
It took about 10 years from the start of construction employment losses in 1979 for the number of jobs to get close to that level again, and another five years (through the early 1990s recession) before employment fully returned to its late 1970s level.
Construction job losses were bad during the Great Recession, but not quite as bad as in the early 1980s in terms of percentage losses.