Construction industry adds jobs as unemployment rate falls

By |  November 5, 2012

Construction employers added 17,000 jobs in October while the construction industry’s unemployment rate fell to 11.4 percent, according to an analysis of new federal data released by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Association officials noted that total construction employment levels have changed little during the past year while the declines in the industry’s unemployment rate are coming as more former workers leave the industry.

“Despite five consecutive months of construction employment gains, the overall employment picture is essentially unchanged from a year ago,” says Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Construction employment appears stuck in a state of mild monthly flux with little change to the overall number of jobs.”

Construction firms employed 5.539 million people in October, up from 5.522 in September. The sector’s overall employment in October is 20,000, or 0.4 percent, higher than one year earlier when firms employed 5.519 million workers. However, Simonson noted that overall construction employment remains down by nearly 2.2 million compared to six years ago, when the sector’s employment peaked at 7.7 million workers.

Both residential and nonresidential construction added jobs in October, with nonresidential construction outpacing residential construction for the month. Residential construction added 4,700 jobs in October, as residential building contractors lost 2,000 employees while residential specialty contractors added 6,700 new workers. Residential construction employment is now up by 12,300 compared to 12 months ago.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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