Construction Employment in February Up 2.7% YOY

Washington, DC, March 11, 2024-The construction industry added 23,000 jobs on net in February, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On a year-over-year basis, industry employment has expanded by 215,000 jobs, an increase of 2.7%. 

Nonresidential construction employment grew by 24,200 positions on net, with growth in all three subcategories. Heavy and civil engineering gained the most jobs, increasing by 12,500 positions. Nonresidential specialty trade and nonresidential building added 7,400 and 4,300 jobs, respectively.

The construction unemployment rate rose to 7.0% in February. Unemployment across all industries increased from 3.7% in January to 3.9% last month.

“In February, we saw evidence that contractors continue to add workers, fulfilling expectations,” said ABC chief economist Anirban Basu. “Employment growth happened in a variety of nonresidential subsegments, which is quite remarkable given headwinds such as high project financing costs, elevated construction service delivery costs and lingering recessionary fears.

“Though the February jobs report and the Construction Confidence Index data both indicate ongoing industry momentum, there remain reasons for concern,” said Basu. “Contractors whose clients are project owners who rely on the availability of private financing have been reporting higher numbers of project delays. ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator declined last month, indicating that, while the industry continues to expand, a growing fraction of nonresidential contractors may be feeling the effects of a still-restrictive monetary environment.”