Construction Unemployment At 5-Year Low

Keesler FCU3_BS20959

Employers Add 7,000 Jobs In April & May

Construction unemployment rate is at the lowest May level in five years, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA).

“Although the monthly job gain in May was a modest 3.4 percent, both residential and nonresidential construction have been adding workers at roughly double the rate of the overall economy in the past year,” said Ken Simonson, the AGCA’s chief economist.

“At the same time, formerly unemployed construction workers are finding jobs in other sectors, retiring or going back to school. These conditions may lead abruptly to worker shortages in parts of the industry, such as welders and pipefitters.”

Employment expanded in both residential and nonresidential construction in May, Simonson observed.

Residential building and specialty trade contractors added 5,500 workers for the month and 94,400 (4.6 percent) over 12 months.

Nonresidential building, specialty trade and heavy and civil engineering construction firms grew by 1,700 workers in May and 95,500 (3.7 percent) from a year earlier.

In a positive indicator for future construction growth, architectural and engineering services employers added 2.1 percent to their workforces over the year.