U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Shows an Increase in Construction Job in April

Press Release Summary:

Associated Builders and Contractors has analyzed U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. According to the analysis the construction industry has added 33,000 net new jobs in April and the overall unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent. The nonresidential employment has added 32,400 new net jobs in March. The industry employment is up by 256,000 jobs when compared with the same month previous year with an increase of 6.5 percent.

Original Press Release:

Construction Job Growth Strong in April, Says ABC

WASHINGTON, May 3 – The construction industry added 33,000 net new jobs in April, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released today. Compared to the same time last year, industry employment is up by 256,000 jobs, an increase of 3.5 percent.

Nonresidential employment added 32,400 net new jobs last month, although the nonresidential building subsegment added just 400 net new jobs. Nonresidential specialty trade contractors led the segment, adding 22,100 net new jobs compared to March and 114,300 net new jobs year over year.

Overall, the construction industry unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent, down 2.2 percentage points from the same time last year, which represents the lowest April rate since the series began in the year 2000. The national unemployment rate for all industries fell to 3.6 percent in April.

"Many economists are predicting a recession in 2020 or 2021,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “While that’s possible, the case for an economic downturn over the next 12 to 18 months is fading fast. The nation has added jobs in 103 consecutive months and the unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 1969. With inflation and interest rates low, the cost of capital remains suppressed, helping to induce ongoing spending growth among companies, consumers and governments alike. Corporate earnings remain strong, and today's employment report indicates that many remain firmly in growth mode.

“For construction firms, today's jobs report is consistent with lengthy backlog, continued expansion in consumer outlays, growing demand for office and other forms of space, and steady demand for construction services,” said Basu. “As contractors continue to struggle to identify and afford talent, average hourly earnings for construction employees increased by 0.4 percent from March to April, approximately twice the rate of growth observed across all industries. That said, construction wages have expanded at a slightly slower rate than all industries over the past year, increasing by 3.1 percent."

Visit ABC for the Construction Backlog Indicator, Construction Confidence Index and state unemployment reports, plus analysis of spending, employment, GDP and the Producer Price Index.

Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association established in 1950 that represents more than 21,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 69 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at abc.org.

Rachel O'Grady, ABC, (202) 905-2104, ogrady@abc.org 

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