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Construction employment increases in August

Construction employment increased by 23,000 jobs in August following an increase of 19,000 jobs in July, reaching a 10-year high, according to www.agc.org.

The construction industry unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.4 percent. The national unemployment rate for all industries was unchanged at 3.9 percent.

The construction sector has added 297,000 net new jobs during the past 12 months, which is a 4.3 percent increase in the number of workers directly employed by the industry.

Hourly earnings in the industry averaged $29.95 in July, which is an increase of 3.3 percent from a year earlier. Average hourly earnings in construction were 10.3 percent higher than the average for all nonfarm private-sector jobs, which rose 2.9 percent during the past year to $27.16.

"The construction industry continues to add workers and increase pay at greater rates than the economy as a whole, with job gains spread across both residential and non-residential construction," says Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America. "But contractors report widespread difficulty in finding qualified workers for both salaried and hourly craft positions."


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