Construction Employment Reaches 10-year High

- Construction employment increased by 13,000 jobs in June and by 282,000 jobs over the past year, reaching a 10-year high, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said many construction firms appear to be more willing to hire amid lower tax rates and a more favorable business environment, but caution that trade fights and labor shortages pose risks to future growth.

“The construction industry continues to add workers faster than the economy as a whole, and the industry is paying premium wages to attract and retain those workers,” said Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist.  “The employment gains are occurring in both residential and nonresidential construction. However, the industry is having to rely more and more on workers without construction experience, as the pool of unemployed construction workers has nearly evaporated.”

Construction employment totaled 7,222,000 in June, the highest level since May 2008 and a gain of 4.1 percent over the past 12 months. The economist pointed out that the­­ year-over-year growth rate in industry jobs was more than double the 1.6 percent rise in total nonfarm payroll employment.

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