Overall Construction Sector Employment Increased in January
A New Year Starts with Strong Gains
A closer look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) nonfarm payroll report for January (released 2-3-23), with a focus on the construction sector and additional analysis provided by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), reveals that employment in the overall construction sector increased by 25,000 in January 2023, following a gain of 26,000 in December 2022.
Residential construction gained 5,500 new positions in January. Residential construction employment now stands at 3.3 million, broken down as 934,00 builders and 2.3 million residential specialty trade contractors. The six-month moving average job gains for residential construction was 6,100 a month. Year-over-year on a net basis, home builders and remodelers added 114,600 jobs. Since the low point following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 1,282,900 positions.
The unemployment rate edged lower to 3.4% in January, the lowest level since 1969. The unemployment rate for construction workers increased by 0.1% to 4.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis. The unemployment rate for construction workers has been trending lower after reaching 14.2% in April 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on housing demand.
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