Construction employment increased by 19,000 jobs in July following an increase of 13,000 jobs in June, reaching a 10-year high, according to www.agc.org.
The construction industry unemployment rate declined by 1.3 percentage points to 3.4 percent, which is a record low since the series started in 2000. The national unemployment rate for all industries fell to 3.9 percent.
The construction sector has added 303,000 net new jobs during the past 12 months, which is a 4.4 percent increase in the number of workers directly employed by the industry.
Hourly earnings in the industry averaged $29.86 in July, which is an increase of 3.2 percent from a year earlier. Average hourly earnings in construction were 10.4 percent higher than the average for all nonfarm private-sector jobs, which rose 2.7 percent during the past year to $27.05.
"The construction industry has added workers at nearly three times the rate of the economy as a whole, and the job gains are showing up in both residential and non-residential construction," says Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America. "But it is getting ever harder for contractors to find workers despite offering above-average pay and good career advancement opportunities."