Construction unemployment isn't exactly where the industry wants it to be, but it has been worse. On Aug. 28, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reported unemployment rose in 38 states in July 2019 compared to July 2018, based on estimates that were not seasonally adjusted. However, despite the 0.4% increase in unemployment over the past year, the July 2019 national NSA construction unemployment rate remained relatively low at 3.8%.
"In July, most of the East experienced above-average temperatures, making outdoor construction more difficult," Bernard M. Markstein, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, said in the ABC report. "At the same time, major parts of the Midwest, particularly around the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, had above-average rainfall, which hampered construction. Although 12 straight months of year-over-year declines in the national construction unemployment rate ended in July, overall construction activity and employment remained healthy."
Month over month (MoM), the construction unemployment rate dropped 0.2% between June to July, with half of the country recording lower construction unemployment rates than originally predicted for June. The lowest estimated construction unemployment rate was recorded at 1.2% in North Dakota and Utah, while the highest rates were seen in Missouri and Mississippi.
—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate