The construction industry’s unemployment rate hit its lowest March level in seven years, according to a new government data analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Last month also marked the industry’s highest employment rate since June 2009, with an addition of 19,000 construction jobs. Association officials say the addition of jobs has caused the pool of available workers to decline, which may result in a significant labor shortage if demand continues to rise.
“The rate of construction hiring continues to outrun job growth in the overall economy for the past year,” said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. “Furthermore, the pickup has been well balanced, as both nonresidential and residential construction segments added workers last month and over the past 12 months.”
Construction workers totaled 5.9 million in March, a 2.6 percent increase from last year, Simonson said. Residential building- and specialty-trade contractors added a combined total of 9,100 workers in March and a 4.8 percent increase over the past year.