Residential Construction Employment Grows in August but Nonresidential Construction Employment Declines

A closer examination of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) August total nonfarm payroll employment report, looking specifically at the construction sector, reveals that residential construction employment rose by 27,700 in August to 2.9 million. The BLS report breaks the numbers down as 820,000 builders and 2.1 million residential specialty trade contractors. Total construction industry (both residential and nonresidential) employment rebounded to 7.2 million in August. However, nonresidential construction employment declined by -5,500, highlighting the different fortunes of housing vs. non-housing construction. In August, the unemployment rate for construction workers dropped to 9.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis, from 11.3% in July. After hit 16.1% in April due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate for construction workers has been trending downward for the past four months.

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