Why June’s upbeat jobs report isn’t necessarily positive for construction

Nonresidential construction added 16,500 jobs in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a surge that offset 4,100 jobs lost in the residential sector. The June gains helped push the industry’s overall unemployment rate even lower, to 3.7%. AGC’s Simonson said the report gave contractors other reasons for worry. Namely, with more workers already added to payrolls, there are even fewer people looking for work in the sector than before. In June 2021, for instance, the unemployment rate for job seekers with construction employment was 7.5%, more than double the current rate. In the 12 months since then, the number of construction workers looking for jobs fell by 345,000, or 47%. That suggests there are few experienced job seekers left in the field for companies to fill the 466,000 construction jobs that were still open at the end of May. That’s the largest number of unfilled jobs in the sector for May since 2000, when the data series first appeared.


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