Construction firms add 39,000 jobs in March


Chicago Construction News staff writer

The construction industry added 39,000 jobs last month, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On a year-over-year basis, industry employment grew by 270,000 jobs or 3.4%.

Non-residential construction employment led the way, jumping by 24,600 jobs, with the specialty trade category adding the most jobs – 16,300. Heavy and civil engineering added 6,000 and non-residential building added 2,300 jobs.

“Today’s release was a blockbuster jobs report and indicates that recession is not arriving anytime soon,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The 39,000 jobs added by the nation’s construction segment was roughly twice the monthly growth observed over the past year. If one focuses purely on non-residential construction, monthly job growth was nearly 80% faster than the one-year average.

The construction unemployment rate fell to 5.4% in March, remaining above the 3.8% recorded by all industries last month.

“Structural transformations in the economy, including replenished domestic supply chains, expanded data center demand and augmented infrastructure, are making it difficult for many project owners to wait for lower construction delivery costs,” Basu said. “Despite the effects of worker shortages, still-elevated materials prices, newly emerging supply chain issues and the high cost of project financing, both privately and publicly financed segments produced substantial employment growth in March.

“This comports with ABC’s Construction Confidence Index, which shows that a large share of contractors intend to grow their staffing levels over the next six months.”


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