Construction Employment and Wages Climbed in December

Arlington, VA, January 16, 2023-Construction employment, seasonally adjusted, totaled a record-high 7,777,000 in December, an increase of 28,000 from the November total and 248,000 year over year, according to the Association of General Contractors’ (AGC) analysis of the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Residential construction employment (residential building and specialty contractors) rose by 9,500 in December and 98,300 year over year. Nonresidential construction employment (building, specialty trade and heavy and civil engineering construction firms) increased by 17,900 for the month and 131,900 year over year.

The number of unemployed jobseekers with construction experience fell by 54,000 year over year to 443,000, and the industry’s unemployment rate declined from 5.0% to 4.4%--the lowest December figures in the 22-year history of the series, according to the AGC.

Seasonally adjusted average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees in construction (craft and office) rose 6.1% year over year to $33.15 per hour. That topped the 5.0% rise for all such private-sector employees. The “premium” for hourly construction workers rose to 18.1% over the private-sector average of $28.10 but remained considerably below the average premium in 2000-2019 of 21.5%, AGC notes.

Related Topics:Associated General Contractors of America