Construction employment increased by 4,000 jobs in May and by 215,000, or 3.0 percent, over the past 12 months, while the number of unemployed jobseekers with construction experience fell to a record low, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.
“The construction industry unemployment rate in May was even lower than for the overall economy,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Even though average pay in construction is 10 percent higher than in the private sector as a whole, the number of job openings keeps climbing.”
The unemployment rate for jobseekers who last worked in construction declined to 3.2 percent from 4.4 percent in May 2018, with the number decreasing from 415,000 to 294,000. Both the rate and the number of unemployed were the lowest since the series began in 2000. Another government series showed that the number of job openings in construction totaled 360,000, the highest Apri total in the 19-year history of that series.
Average hourly earnings in construction increased 3.2 percent over the year to $30.68, 10 percent higher than the private-sector average of $27.83.