Job growth is continuing to rise in the construction industry, where 21,000 net new jobs were added in June. Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reported a total of 7,508,000 construction jobs last month—a 3.1% increase over June 2018.
"Today's employment numbers indicate the economy is not slowing nearly as quickly as data suggested earlier this year, which is promising news for contractors," ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said in a press release. "With the U.S. economy now in the midst of its lengthiest expansion in history and many economists predicting a recession in 2020 or 2021, construction firm leaders are searching for any indication that the current economic and construction spending growth cycles are nearing the end."
Between May and June 2019, nonresidential specialty trade contractors experienced the largest job growth month-over-month (MoM) with nearly 12,000 net new jobs at a 4.5% increase year-over-year (YOY). Residential specialty trade contractors were much further behind but still saw 1,400 more jobs MoM, up 2.5% from last year. Residential and nonresidential building jobs grew by 4,600 and 1,500, respectively, while heavy and civil engineering jobs increased by 1,500.
"In short, the industry is still strong," Basu noted. "Finding and retaining skilled workers remains a primary issue, implying that compensation growth will continue to increase. This is a challenge that construction firms share with firms operating in many other industries, which means that the cycle of wage growth coupled with robust consumer spending remains firmly in place."
—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate