July Shows Modest Gain in Construction Jobs
Job growth in the construction industry continues to thrive after another month of increases in July, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reported on Aug. 2. With a year-over-year (YOY) increase of nearly 3%, 4,000 net new jobs were added to the industry last month, bringing the YOY change to 202,000. However, there was a decline in jobs in parts of the sector.
According to the latest ABC report, nonresidential construction lost 2,800 jobs in July, despite maintaining a YOY growth of more than 122,000 jobs. Even more job loss occurred in heavy and civil engineering with a decline of 4,300 jobs month-over-month (MoM). Nonresidential building construction was the only area of the sector to lose jobs YOY.
"While today's data were broadly upbeat, risks abound," ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said in the press release. "It's difficult to establish which risk is the most serious, but the list is long: trade disputes, Iran, corporate debt, household debt, federal debt, elevated and vulnerable asset prices, and the specter of next year's elections, which may induce many economic actors, including real estate developers, to embrace a wait-and-see posture. The election's growing imminence may itself be enough to further slow U.S. economic growth."
Residential construction jobs saw the largest MoM gain with 7,400 jobs, ABC reported, while nonresidential specialty trade contractor jobs increased the most YOY with more than 109,000 jobs.
—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate