The construction industry saw a modest gain in new jobs in April with a 3.5% increase in the past year. According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 33,000 new net jobs were added between March and April 2019.
Since April 2018, open positions in residential building grew by nearly 5% to 39,000 additional jobs; however, the month-over-month (MoM) readings indicated a 2,500-job decrease in residential construction. In nonresidential building, 400 additional jobs became available MoM but declined by 1,000 since April 2018.
"Many economists are predicting a recession in 2020 or 2021," ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said in the report. "While that's possible, the case for an economic downturn over the next 12 to 18 months is fading fast. The nation has added jobs in 103 consecutive months and the unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 1969."
Basu noted that low inflation and interest rates are contributing to companies' willingness to spend more on projects. A more detailed dive into specific construction jobs revealed a 4.8% YOY increase in heavy and civil engineering jobs, a 2.7% YOY increase in residential specialty trade contractor jobs and a 4.5% YOY increase in nonresidential specialty trade contractor jobs.
—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate