Construction employment increased by 21,000 jobs in June, and by 224,000, or 3.2 percent, over the past 12 months, while the number of unemployed jobseekers with construction experience fell, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America.
“Construction firms continue to go to great lengths to recruit and retain workers during one of the tightest labor markets many of them have ever experienced,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s CEO. “Making matters worse, relatively few school districts offer the kind of career and technical education programs that signal to students that they should explore careers in high-paying fields like construction.”
The unemployment rate for jobseekers who last worked in construction declined to 4.0 percent from 4.7 percent in June 2018, and the number of workers decreased from 466,000 to 390,000.
Most construction job growth during the past month and year came from the non-residential construction sector. Non-residential contractors added 14,900 jobs in June and 146,700 jobs during the past year. Residential contractors added 6,000 jobs in the past month, and 78,000 jobs between June 2018 and June 2019.
In addition, average hourly earnings in construction increased 3.2 percent to $30.73, 10 percent higher than the private-sector average of $27.90.