Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Specialty Trade Contractors: The Rebound from Recession

Specialty trade contractors are the companies that do the specific activities of skilled work that go into a building or other types of construction, but are not responsible for the entire project. Otherwise known as the “trades” they do specific activities like pour concrete, framing, electrical work, plumbing and painting. The work may include new work, additions, alterations, maintenance and repairs. They are often subcontracted from establishments of the general contractor type, but may also work directly for the owner of the property.

Specialty trade contractors are the largest subsector of the construction sector employing 61,200 workers or 63 percent of the broader sector in 2017. Like the overall sector, specialty trade contractors experienced large losses during the recession, losing roughly 23,500 jobs, or 36 percent of its employment between 2007 and 2010. This was one of the largest industry losses of the recession. In comparison, Oregon’s total all industry employment declined by roughly 7.5 percent from 2007 to 2010.

Since the end of the recession, the specialty trade contractor industry has experienced a strong rebound and is now one of the fastest growing industries. It has added 18,700 jobs for a 44 percent growth rate between the bottom of the recession in 2010 and 2017. This compares to 17 percent for all industries over the same period.

Despite the strong growth, specialty trade contractors had not reached its prerecession annual average peak by 2017. The prerecession peak was 66,000 jobs in 2007. With annual average employment at 61,200 in 2017 and a June 2018 over-the-year growth of 6,000 (9.7%) jobs, it is almost certain that this will be the year when the industry finally reaches its prerecession level.
Read more about specialty trade contractors in the full article written by Regional Economist Brian Rooney.  

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