Construction employment levels rise
The U.S. construction industry added 21,000 jobs last month as the mild winter weather in much of the country kept workers busy, the Associated General Contractors of America said.
Citing new federal data, AGC officials said the numbers of people working in construction rose to a two-year high in January.
Despite the positive movement, Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said it too soon to know if the trend will hold.
“Although it’s great news that the industry has added 52,000 jobs in the past two months, the unemployment rate in construction is still double that of the overall economy, and construction employment remains at 1996 levels,” Simonson said. “It will take another month or two to see if the recent job growth reflects a sustained pickup or merely acceleration of home building and highway projects that normally halt when the ground freezes in December and January.”
Total construction employment now stands at 5,572,000, which is 0.4 percent higher than in December 2011, and 21 percent higher than in January 2011 - which was a very cold and snowy month in much of the country, the economist said.