National construction employment added 16,000 net new construction jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in June, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Overall construction employment expanded 3.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, easily outpacing the year-over-year growth rate of 1.6 percent for all nonfarm industries.
The nonresidential construction sector added 10,300 net new construction jobs in June after adding 4,900 in May (revised upward from 4,400 jobs), while the residential sector added 6,000 net jobs for the month.
The construction industry unemployment rate, which fell 1 percentage point in May, declined further in June and now stands at just 4.5 percent. Construction unemployment tends to decline in the summer. However, the decline in unemployment is still significant because industry unemployment now stands near lows achieved in 2006.
“This jobs report is just what the doctor ordered,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “June’s employment gains impressed along every dimension. In addition to a robust headline of 222,000 jobs created, the labor force participation rate ticked higher to 62.8 percent from 62.7 percent and the employment-to-population ratio edged higher to 60.1 percent from 60.0 percent. While the labor force participation rate is only a bit higher than it was a year ago, the employment-to-population ratio is up 0.5 percent. Idleness has been on the decline in America, at least based upon the latter measure.
“Construction job growth represents an important part of the story. The majority of construction job gains in June were in nonresidential construction, though performance within the nonresidential building and heavy/civil engineering segments was subdued. Within nonresidential construction, nonresidential specialty trade contractors represented more than 100 percent of job gains,” continued Basu.