Construction employment increased by 8,000 jobs in September to the highest level since October 2008, according to
"Construction firms added employees over the past year at a much higher rate than the public and private sectors as a
whole, and contractors have been boosting pay to attract more workers," says Ken Simonson, chief economist for the
Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). "But with unemployment so low overall and in construction, many
contractors are having trouble filling a variety of hourly craft and salaried openings."
Construction employment totaled 6.911 million in September, an increase of 8,000 from August and 184,000, or 2.7
percent, from September 2016.
The growth rate from September 2016 to last month was more than double the 1.2 percent uptick in total nonfarm payroll
employment during that period. However, the employment numbers for the construction industry and the total likely were
affected in September by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Residential construction lost 7,200 jobs in September but added 80,600 jobs, or an increase of 3.1 percent, during the
past 12 months. Nonresidential construction added 11,700 jobs in September and 103,300 jobs, or an increase of 2.5
percent, during the past 12 months.
The construction sector's 4.7 percent unemployment rate and the number of unemployed individuals whose last job was in
construction—433,000—were the lowest September figures since 2000.