Construction Jobs in the US Rising Despite Shortage of Labor – BLS

construction jobs
Image Source: Elvert Barnes, CC BY-SA 2.0

A report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that construction jobs in the country have seen a huge increase in January this year, actually reaching the highest level since the Great Recession, despite a critical labor shortage.

Construction jobs have increased by approximately 36,000 to reach a total of 6.8 million jobs, representing a 2.6% increase from the same period last year. In particular, 14,900 non-residential (a rise of 1% from January 2016) and 20,300 residential (up 5% from January 2016) construction positions were added in the first month of this year.

Giving his opinion on the trend, economist Jed Kolko stated:

“The recent increase in construction jobs is, in part, a rebound after the slowdown of the housing bust, when home building fell to extraordinarily low levels. Single-family home construction is still low by historical standards, so the growth in construction jobs is likely to continue but is unlikely to be sustained as home construction gets closer to historically normal levels.”

A new research from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) also predicts that hiring in the near term will keep on rising. According to its report, 73% of the 1,281 contractors it surveyed intend to hire more people this year. And, the employment gains would have been even bigger if there was no shortage of labor. As the study points out, end-of-month openings in the construction sector have been hitting 17-year highs.

Recently, contractors are raising their average hourly earnings by 3.2% over the past year to $28.52 per hour.