Construction Employment Rate Increases

October 9, 2019
A wheel loader digs on a work site.

Construction employment increased by 7,000 jobs in September, and 156,000 or 2.1 percent, over the past 12 months, while the number of unemployed jobseekers reached a record low for September, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. 

“Contractors foresee plenty of projects to bid on, and nearly three-fourths of firms expect to add workers during the next twelve months, but most are finding it hard to find qualified workers to hire,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist.

Simonson said the 2.1 percent growth in construction employment between September 2018 and September 2019 was the slowest in more than six years, but that the rate remained above the 1.4 percent increase in total nonfarm payroll employment. There were 319,000 unemployed jobseekers who last worked in construction—an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent. 

How much do construction workers earn?

Construction workers earn on average $30.81. Construction workers' wages increased by 2.2 percent over the year, and are 9.7 percent higher than the private sector average of $28.09. Two thirds of firms responding had raised base pay rates in the past year because of difficulty filling positions. 

Source: AGC