Construction Employment in US Highest Since Feb '09


Published Date : Sep 09, 2015

Construction employment in the United States reached a total of 6.39 million workers in the month of August, the Associated General Contractors of America trade association said on Wednesday. This was reportedly the highest employment figures in the country since the February of 2009.

The Associated General Contractors of America added that industry unemployment was at 525,000 people, the lowest since the year 2001. Industry unemployment is being defined as the number of people who were last employed in the construction sector and are currently in search of work.

Ken Simonson, chief economist at the Associated General Contractors of America said that the latest slump in construction employment seems to indicate the hardships in finding qualified employees instead of a dearth of construction projects that would need workers. The pool of skilled and qualified construction workers will be required to grow if companies intend on keeping up with the increasing demand for construction. 

Simonson further said that the construction employment figure for the month of August rose only by 3,000 on the previous month, which is a mere 0.05 per cent. Monthly raise in industry hirings reached an average of only 6,800 a month over the past six months. This is in comparison with the previous six month period figure of 29,700 new jobs every month.

Associated General Contractors of America’s chief economist Ken Simonson said that in the past six months, construction hiring has slowed down to almost a crawl despite the fact that contractors have increased their wages at the highest rate in almost six years. Even spending on almost every type of construction had increased. Other indicators such as permits for multifamily and single family housing and rising engineering and architectural employment suggest that the demand for construction will continue to remain strong. Contractors, however, are likely to find it difficult to get sufficient number of workers for all those projects.