Construction Gains 16,000 Jobs in June, Jobless Rate Down
Job growth focused in specialty trade contractors, heavy-civil sector
The construction industry added 16,000 jobs in June and its unemployment rate dipped from May’s level and was slightly below the year-earlier rate, the Dept. of Labor has reported.
The latest monthly employment report from the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, released on July 7, showed that construction’s June jobless rate declined to 4.5% from May’s 5.3%. It also edged down from the June 2016 mark of 4.6%.
The BLS unemployment rates aren’t modified to reflect seasonal variations; construction’s rate tends to fall in the summer as the pace of building picks up.
Construction’s gain of 16,000 jobs last month was almost twice the 9,000 the industry picked up in the previous three months combined, the Associated General Contractors of America observed.
AGC also noted that construction’s total workforce rose in June by 206,000, or 3.1%, from the year-earlier total.
But the industry’s monthly employment growth in June was concentrated in two sectors: specialty trade contractors, which added 18,500 positions; and heavy-civil engineering construction, which picked up 2,500.
But buildings construction—residential and nonresidential—lost a total of 4,700 jobs during the month.
Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist, said in a statement, "Construction firms added employees over the past year at nearly double the rate of the overall economy, but the record-low unemployment rate for construction workers shows companies are having to reach outside the industry to fill positions.”
Architectural and engineering services, which BLS categorizes separately from construction, saw its workforce expand by 5,400 in June.
BLS also said the overall June unemployment rate ticked upward to 4.4% from May’s 4.3% and the economy added 222,000 jobs.