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The construction industry added 8,000 jobs in September for its highest level since 2008, but could have hired even more if qualified workers were available, said the Associated General Contractors of America.

Construction unemployment was 4.7 percent in September, its lowest September rate since 2000, said AGC. Average hourly earnings have increased 3 percent from last year to $29.19, nearly 10 percent more than the average nonfarm private sector job in the U.S.

The Associated General Contractors of America urged Congress and the Trump administration to include new spending as part of the tax reform proposal to reverse declining infrastructure investment. New investments will offset declining public sector demand and help boost overall economic activity, said AGC.

"It is hard for American employers to be globally competitive when their workers are stuck in traffic and their products are being detoured around crumbling bridges," said AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr.

Most major construction spending categories increased from July to August, but activity was mixed compared to spending levels a year earlier, according to an analysis of new government data by the AGC. Association officials noted that big drops in public investments mean infrastructure will continue to deteriorate and impede economic growth.

Construction employment increased in 274 out of 358 metro areas between August 2016 and August 2017, declined in 52 and stagnated in 32, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that the construction job gains come even as 70 percent of responding firms reported having a hard time finding qualified craft workers to hire.

Construction Jobs Build, But Labor’s Tight

Saturday, 16 September 2017 12:00

Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs in the year from August 2016 to August 2017, reports the Associated General Contractors of America, analyzing Labor Department data. Hiring likely would have been stronger if not for a shortage of workers.

Seventy percent of companies report having a hard time finding craft workers to hire. "Firms in most states are expanding their headcount to keep pace with growing demand for many types of construction projects," said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the AGC. "While it is too early to tell what impacts Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will have on the sector's workforce, there are not a lot of unemployed, experienced workers available to travel to Texas or Florida to help communities rebuild."



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Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs in the year between July 2016 and July 2017, yet only half the states added construction jobs in the month between June and July of this year amid declining public-sector investments in infrastructure and other construction projects, reports the Associated General Contractors of America in an analysis of Labor Department data.

Firms in parts of the country that build infrastructure projects are seeing less demand for their services amid overall declines in public-sector spending. "Despite growing private-sector demand, it appears that construction employment in some parts of the country is being brought down by declining public-sector investments," said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the association. "Some of these declines will be offset thanks to recently enacted state infrastructure funding increases, but stagnant federal investments are not helping."

AGC: Construction Adds 6,000 Jobs in July

Friday, 04 August 2017 12:08

Construction employment increased by 6,000 jobs in July to the highest level since October 2008, amid a tight labor market that may be keeping contractors from hiring as many workers as they need, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials urged local, state and federal leaders to enact measures designed to expose more high school students to high-paying careers in construction to offset growing labor shortages.

Construction employment made the biggest gains in metro areas in June with particular strength in the western U.S., according to an analysis of data by the Associated General Contractors of America. The largest losses were in the middle or eastern parts of the country, noted AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson.

Construction spending is suffering from a decrease in public investment said Ken Simonson, chief economist at the Associated General Contractors of America.

"Construction spending is still increasing overall but growth has become much more uneven across categories in recent months," said Simonson. "There has been a steep decline in public investment in nearly all types of construction over the past year. Private nonresidential construction is still rising overall but generally at slower rates than was occurring a few months ago."

A shortage of qualified job seekers resulted in only 25 states adding construction jobs between May and June despite strong industry demand, says the Associated General Contractors of America. Forty-one states added construction jobs between June 2016 and June 2017.

"Contractors in most of the country say they have plenty of projects booked and would like to hire more workers if they could find them, so it is likely that some states with monthly employment declines have a shortage of workers available to hire rather than a slowdown in work," said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the association. "Given the low unemployment rate in most states, other industries are competing hard for workers, making it difficult for contractors to find new construction workers, let alone experienced ones."

Construction employment reached its highest level since October 2008, adding 16,000 jobs in June. The Associated General Contractors of America report that, after a three month pause, firms last month added employees at nearly double the rate of the overall economy.

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