August Construction Employment Dips from July, Up YOY

Arlington, VA, September 6, 2016—Construction employment totaled 6,640,000 in August, a dip of 6,000 from July but an increase of 199,000 or 3.1% from a year ago, according to The Associated General Contractors of America.

Construction employment slipped from July to August for the fourth time in five months, but year-over-year job gains and recently released spending data suggest the recent weakness is due to firms having a hard time finding workers rather than lack of demand, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said its recent survey that found two-thirds of contractors are having a hard time finding qualified craft workers underscores the need for measures to boost recruitment and training on new workers.

The rate of increase in construction employment year over year was nearly twice as fast as the 1.7% increase for total nonfarm payroll employment. There were 454,000 unemployed jobseekers in August who last worked in the construction industry, the lowest total for August in 16 years.

Average hourly earnings, a measure of wages and salaries for all workers, increased 2.8% in construction over the past year to $28.22 in August, nearly 10% more than for all nonfarm jobs, the economist noted. For the private nonfarm sector, earnings rose 2.4% over the past 12 months to $25.73.

Residential construction—comprising residential building and specialty trade contractors—added 11,000 jobs in August and 132,000, or 5.4%, compared to a year ago. Nonresidential construction—building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering construction firms—lost 17,000 jobs for the month but gained 67,000 employees compared to August 2015, a 1.7% rise. There were year-over-year gains for nonresidential building and specialty trades contractors but job losses among heavy and civil engineering construction firms.

Related Topics:Associated General Contractors of America