Reblog from NRCA

February 12, 2020

Construction employment increased by 44,000 jobs in January following an increase of 20,000 jobs in December 2019, according to

The construction unemployment rate was 5.4% in January. The national unemployment rate for all industries increased slightly to 3.6%.

The construction sector added 142,000 net new jobs during the past 12 months—a 1.9% increase. Average hourly earnings in construction increased 2.9% during the past year to $31.19, which is 8.8% higher than the private-sector average of $28.44.

“The U.S. economy is performing brilliantly, and one of the major beneficiaries of that performance is nonresidential construction,” says Anirban Basu, chief economist for the Associated Builders and Contractors. “Contractors expressed confidence in the economy and in their own performance during ABC’s most recent Construction Confidence Index, which appears to be justified. In addition, demand for construction workers remains elevated, an indication that contractors expect to remain busy for the foreseeable future.

“One of the most important aspects of U.S. economic performance recently has been rising labor force participation, which expanded to 63.4% last month,” Basu says. “While that’s roughly the same rate observed in the summer of 2013, many U.S. workers have retired over the past seven years. The strength of the economic expansion is drawing people back into the workforce, with anecdotal evidence suggesting that quite a few people are entering the U.S. construction industry, albeit often at entry levels. That said, construction job growth would be even stronger were it not for a dearth of available workers in the skilled trades.”