Construction employment added 2,000 jobs on net in April, according to www.abc.org. On a year-over-year basis, the industry has expanded by 235,000 jobs—an increase of 3.2%.
The construction unemployment rate fell from 6% in March to 4.6% in April. The national unemployment rate for all industries was unchanged at 3.6% in April as the U.S. economy added 428,000 jobs.
Nonresidential construction lost 2,000 jobs in April, with all job losses coming from the nonresidential specialty trade segment, which lost 6,400 jobs. Nonresidential building added 3,900 jobs, and heavy and civil engineering added 500 jobs.
“The strength of the U.S. economy is fading, but labor market data tend to be lagging indicators,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “For now, the labor market remains strong as contractors and other employers compete for scarce skill sets. In March, there were approximately 11.5 million available, unfilled jobs in America, roughly 400,000 of them in construction. As more people return to the labor force, some chasing higher wages, America continues to add jobs at a rapid pace.
“For now, that will help support economic momentum,” Basu continued. “Not only are job totals climbing, but many people are earning far more than they did pre-pandemic, fueling household spending power and keeping the recovery afloat. But with inflation steadily hammering away at household balance sheets and interest rates rising, spending growth will slow, and so will the pace of employment gains.”
Basu said ABC’s Construction Confidence Index shows contractors generally expect to hire workers during the coming months.
"Many construction firms report operating at capacity,” Basu said. “Hiring is a mechanism to expand that capacity. But with the cost of capital, materials and labor rising, demand for private construction services could soften next year. The risk of recession continues to rise.”