Construction Jobless Rate Hits 19-Year Low, Job Gain Modest

By on June 11, 2019

From ENR: Construction’s unemployment rate continued to fall in May, reaching its lowest monthly level in 19 years, but the industry posted a less-than-robust gain of 4,000 jobs during the month, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported.

The bureau’s latest monthly report n the U.S employment picture, released on June 7, shows that construction’s jobless rate declined to 3.2% in May from April’s 4.7%. It is the lowest mark since the current BLS data series began in 2000, the Associated General Contractors of America noted. Last month’s rate also improved from the May 2018 level of 4.4%.

The industry again added jobs, but the 4,000 pickup was well below April’s gain, which BLS revised downward to 30,000 from the preliminary increase of 33,000.

Looking at the longer-range picture, construction’s workforce has expanded by 215,000 jobs in the 12 months ended on May 31, an increase of 3%.

Among construction sectors, specialty trade contractors had a strong month in May, adding 12,900 jobs. But the heavy and civil engineering segment, which reflects infrastructure work, shed 9,400 positions.

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