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July 5, 2024 - 12:13pm

According to data released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc (ABC)

ABC: Construction Adds 27,000 Jobs in June; Industry Unemployment Rate Plunges to Second Lowest Ever Recorded

WASHINGTON, July 5—The construction industry added 27,000 jobs on net in June, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On a year-over-year basis, industry employment has increased by 235,000 jobs, an increase of 2.9%.

Nonresidential construction employment increased by 21,200 positions on net, with growth in all three subcategories. Nonresidential specialty trade contractors added the most jobs for the month, (+9,200 jobs), followed by heavy and civil engineering (+6,300 jobs) and nonresidential building (+5,700 jobs).

The construction unemployment rate decreased to 3.3% in June. Unemployment across all industries rose from 4.0 in May to 4.1% last month.

“Despite indications that the broader economy is slowing, the construction industry continued to add jobs at a rapid pace in June,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Contractors added another 27,000 jobs for the month, with hiring concentrated in the nonresidential segment. Nonresidential construction employment has expanded 3.8% over the past year, a rate of growth over twice as fast as that of the broader economy. With backlog still at healthy levels, according to ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator, hiring should continue in the coming months.

“Of course, the Industry would have added jobs at an even faster pace if not for ongoing labor shortages,” said Basu. “The construction unemployment rate fell to 3.3% in June, the second-lowest level ever recorded. This is in stark contrast to the nationwide unemployment rate which, while still low by historical standards, rose to the highest level since November 2021.”


Press Release from Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)

Construction Firms Add 27,000 Jobs In June As Sector’s Unemployment Falls To Lowest June Rate And Pay Levels Jump 4.6 Percent To $35.64 An Hour

Most of the Construction Gains Occurred in the Nonresidential Construction Sector While Firms Now Pay Workers Nearly 19 Percent More Compared to the Average Job as they Struggle to Recruit New People

The construction sector added 27,000 jobs in June while its unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent, its lowest rate for the month, and pay levels in the industry continued to rise, according to an analysis of new government data the Associated General Contractors of America released today. Association officials said construction firms are boosting pay and taking other steps to recruit workers amid tight labor conditions.

“Construction employment strengthened in June, with all segments adding workers despite recent weakness in demand for residential and commercial buildings,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Finding enough qualified workers remains a greater challenge for most firms than finding projects to work on.”

Construction employment in June totaled 8,245,000, seasonally adjusted, an addition of 27,000 or 0.3 percent from the month prior. The sector has added 235,000 jobs during the past twelve months, an increase of 2.9 percent. Nonresidential construction firms—nonresidential building and specialty trade contractors along with heavy and civil engineering construction firms—added 21,200 employees in June. Meanwhile, employment at residential building and specialty trade contractors only grew by 5,500 or 0.2 percent.

The unemployment rate among jobseekers with construction experience declined from 3.6 percent in June 2023 to 3.3 percent, the lowest June rate in the 24-year history of the data. A separate government report released earlier this week reported that new hires in construction at the end of May totaled 383,000, growing 3 percent from one year prior. The new hires figure does not account for the number of workers who left the industry during the same timeframe.

Average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees in construction—covering most onsite craft workers as well as many office workers—jumped by 4.6 percent over the year to $35.64 per hour. Construction firms in June provided a wage “premium” of nearly 19 percent compared to the average hourly earnings for all private-sector production employees.

Association officials welcomed the jump in construction employment but noted that firms would likely have added even more jobs last month if more qualified workers were available to hire. They said those labor shortages are preventing some firms from bidding on projects, limiting the amount of competition in the construction industry.

“Boosting investments in programs that expose more students to high-paying careers in construction will put more workers on a path to middle class prosperity,” said Jeffrey D. Shoaf, the association’s chief executive officer. “Until public officials boost those investments, however, the lack of workers will undermine construction activity and constrain employment growth.”

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