Steel Products

Construction Employment Highest Since June 2008

Written by Sandy Williams

Construction employment continued to expand, increasing by 25,000 jobs to 7,210,000 for the month of May, according to an analysis of government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Employers added 286,000 jobs over the past year.

Construction employment grew 4.1 percent over the past 12 months, significantly higher than the 1.6 percent rise in total nonfarm jobs, said AGC. Construction employment is at its highest level since June 2008 due to tax reform, reduced regulatory burdens and higher infrastructure spending.

“Construction workers and their employers are clearly benefitting from steps Congress and the administration are taking to boost economic demand,” said AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. “Construction pay, employment and demand have all increased as business conditions have improved.

Residential construction added 10,300 jobs in May and increased 4.9 percent to 132,000 jobs in the past 12 months. Nonresidential construction employment grew by 15,400 jobs in May and increased by 153,900 during the past year, a 3.6 percent increase.

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Construction spending reached $1.320 trillion in April, growing 7.5 percent year-over-year. Private nonresidential construction spending rose 0.8 percent, private residential spending increased 4.5 percent, and public construction spending shrank 1.3 percent. On a year-over-year basis, private residential construction spending surged 9.5 percent, private nonresidential spending grew 5.3 percent, and public construction spending jumped 7.7 percent.

Wages averaged $29.65 per hour in May, up 3.2 percent from last year, and 10.1 percent higher than the average of $26.92 per hour for nonfarm private sector jobs.

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