A closer look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) August nonfarm payroll employment report, with a focus specifically on the construction industry and additional analysis provided by the National Association of Home Builders, shows both residential and non-residential construction industry employment totaled 7.7 million in August, exceeding its February 2020 level.
In August, employment in the overall construction sector grew by 16,000 jobs. This following an increase of 24,000 jobs in July. Residential construction sector gained 10,900 positions, while the non-residential sector added 4,300 jobs.
Residential construction employment in August was at 3.2 million, broken down as 904,000 builders and 2.3 million residential specialty trade contractors. The 6-month moving average of job gains for residential construction was 8,533 a month. Over the last 12 months, home builders and remodelers added 118,700 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 1,194,100 positions.
The unemployment rate for construction workers rose 1.1% to 5.0% on a seasonally adjusted bases in August. While elevated, it is still close to the lowest point within the past 20-years. Since reaching its high point of 14.2% in April 2020, due to the impact of the pandemic, the unemployment rate of construction workers had been steadily trending lower, until August.
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