Construction employment increases in December 2018

January 8, 2019

Construction employment increased by 38,000 jobs in December 2018 following an increase of 5,000 jobs in November 2018, according to

The construction industry unemployment rate increased to 5.1 percent. The national unemployment rate for all industries rose to 3.9 percent.

The construction sector added 280,000 net new jobs in 2018.

Hourly earnings in the industry averaged $30.44 in December 2018, which is an increase of 3.9 percent from a year earlier. Average hourly earnings in construction were 10.8 percent higher than the average for all nonfarm private-sector jobs, which rose 3.2 percent during the past year to $27.48.

"Demand for construction remains strong across most project types and locations," says Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America. "Job growth and pay increases in construction are outpacing those in the overall economy. But contractors continue to have difficulty finding qualified workers, with the number of unemployed workers who have construction experience at the lowest December level in 19 years."