AGC: Nonresidential weighing down construction job gains

By |  September 7, 2021


The construction industry lost 3,000 jobs between July and August as ongoing declines in nonresidential segments offset a pickup among residential building and remodeling firms, according to an Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) analysis of government data.

AGC officials say their newly released survey shows many contractors are eager to hire but are encountering a lack of qualified applicants and supply-chain delays that are holding back nonresidential employment gains.

“Today’s figures show that nonresidential building and infrastructure contractors are having a hard time recovering from the impact of the pandemic on demand for structures,” says Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist. “At the same time, our survey finds many contractors have job openings but are experiencing a lack of qualified applicants, shortages of materials and long delivery delays.”

AGC says construction employment in August totaled 7,416,000 jobs, a drop of 3,000 from July. Employment among nonresidential firms – comprising heavy and civil engineering construction firms, along with nonresidential building and specialty trade contractors – shrank for the fifth month in a row, by 20,300. In contrast, homebuilders and residential specialty trade contractors added 17,400 workers, the fourth straight gain.

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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