Arlington, VA, Nov. 13, 2013 -- Construction employment hit a 50-month high in October, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.
The group analyzed government data and found that construction employers added 11,000 jobs in October, the fifth consecutive month of sector job gains.
In addition, the industry unemployment rate fell to 9%.
Association officials said that the new employment figures indicate there was little nationwide short-term impact from the federal government shutdown and cautioned that skilled worker shortages are likely to grow as the industry continues to expand.
“After some very dramatic declines and years of sluggish growth, the construction industry is slowly adding jobs,” said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist.
“The federal government shutdown did not appear to have undermined construction job growth in the short term probably because it did not significantly impact projects that were already underway.”
Construction employment totaled 5,834,000 in October, an increase of 185,000 from a year earlier, and is now at the highest level since August 2009, the association said.
Nonresidential construction firms added 6,600 new jobs in October while residential firms added 4,800 jobs.
As the industry continues to add new jobs, many firms report they are having a hard time finding qualified workers to fill key positions.