Construction employment continues to rise, posting an increase of 27,000 jobs in November, but the industry’s unemployment rate rose from both October and year-earlier levels, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported.
The latest BLS report on the nation’s employment picture, released on Dec. 4, shows that construction’s November jobs increases came in nearly all industry segments, with residential sectors outpacing nonresidential categories.
Residential specialty trade contractors showed the strongest results, adding 14,100 jobs. The only segment losing positions was nonresidential specialty trade contractors, which shed 1,300.
Overall, construction unemployment was down by 179,000, or 2.4%, from the November 2019 total.
Architectural and engineering services, which BLS categorizes separately from construction, saw its employment decline by 1,800 jobs from October’s level. The total also was down 23,200, or 1.5%, year over year.
Construction’s November jobless rate climbed to 7.3% from October’s 6.8% and also marked an increase from the year-earlier level of 4.4%, BLS reported.
The jobs figures are adjusted for seasonal variations, but unemployment rates are not.
Ken Simonson, the Associated General Contractors of America's chief economist, said in a statement, "The construction industry recovered a bit in November, but the future is far from certain for the industry."
Simonson said that as coronavirus cases increase, nonresidential buildings and infrastructure construction sectors probably will lose jobs, "unless Congress acts quickly to provide needed relief."
Overall, the U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November and the jobless rate dipped to 6.7% from October’s 6.9%, but it still was above the November 2019 rate of 3.5%.
This story will be updated.