Nonresidential Employment Leads the Construction Sector Higher in May

A closer look at the nonfarm payroll report released on Friday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with a focus on construction and additional analysis provided by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), reveals that construction sector employment increased by 21,000 in May, after no change in April.

Residential construction gained 3,500 jobs, and nonresidential construction employment added 17,100 jobs.

The NAHB is reporting that residential construction employment now stands at 3.4 million, broken down as 950,000 builders and 2.4 million residential specialty trade contractors. The 6-month moving average of job gains for residential construction was 6,167 a month. Over the last 12 months, home builders and remodelers added 71,900 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 1,376,000 positions.

In May, the unemployment rate for construction workers declined to 4.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis, marking the lowest rate over the past 11 months. The unemployment rate for construction has remained at a relatively lower level after reaching 15.3% in April 2020 due to the housing demand impact of the pandemic.

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