US construction unemployment rate falls to 5.1 percent in December

Friday, 04 January 2019 21:01:08 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego
       

US construction employment increased by 38,000 jobs in December and by 280,000 jobs, or 4.0 percent, over the past year, while the industry’s average pay accelerated and unemployment decreased to a historic low, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Construction employment totaled 7,352,000 in December, the highest level since March 2008. Employment in residential construction—comprising residential building and specialty trade contractors—inched up by 1,700 jobs for the month and 99,800 jobs over the past 12 months, a 3.6 percent increase. Employment in nonresidential construction—including building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering construction—grew by 35,800 jobs in December and grew by 180,100 jobs during the past year, a 4.2 percent increase, the economist remarked.

Hourly earnings in the industry averaged $30.44 in December, a rise of 3.9 percent from a year earlier, Simonson noted. Average hourly earnings in construction are now 10.8 percent higher than the average for all nonfarm private-sector jobs, which rose 3.2 percent in the past year, to $27.48.

The unemployment rate for jobseekers with construction experience in December was 5.1 percent, down more from 5.9 percent in December 2017. The number of such workers fell to 493,000 from 554,000 a year earlier. Both figures were the lowest for December since the series began in 2000.


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