The real estate industry lost more jobs in March than any other sector of the workforce except government, shedding 1,200 in just a month, according to new figures released by Eastern Consolidated. Construction, in stark contrast, added 9,000 jobs from February to March, bolstered by the demand for construction post-Sandy, the numbers show.
The report does not explain the drop in real estate jobs, although Eastern Consolidated’s chief economist Barbara Byrne Denham states that she fully expects the industry to recover the positions.
Overall, the city’s unemployment rate fell from 9.1 percent to 8.9 percent. The city added 14,500 workers in March after losing 15,600 in February, though more than half — 8,500 — were school bus drivers returning from a strike.
Byrne Denham also attributed the drop to a decline in the number of jobless, not a gain in workers. “This contradictory pattern started in early 2012 and continues,” she said.
Still, Byrne Denham stated in the report that the city was “poised for continued steady growth,” given the gains in retail sales and the recovery in the national housing market.