Warmer temperatures in the east and hurricane recovery efforts are sustaining employment rates in the construction industry, where Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) said unemployment rates dropped across 45 states year-over-year (YOY).
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the not-seasonally adjusted (NSA) national construction unemployment rate decreased nearly 1% from October 2017 to October 2018, now resting at a comfortable 3.6%. Meanwhile, an additional 318,000 construction workers were employed this year compared to last fall, with 22 states reporting historically low unemployment rates for October.
Iowa saw the lowest estimated NSA construction unemployment rate at 1.3%, followed by 1.7% in Utah, 1.8% in Vermont and 2% in North Dakota and Wyoming, ABC reported.
"The national NSA construction unemployment rate from September to October fell 0.5%," the report states. "Only four states posted higher estimated construction unemployment rates; 42 states were down from September and four were unchanged."
While YOY unemployment rates increased in Colorado, Hawaii and South Dakota, Connecticut (5.5%), Arkansas and Kentucky (5.6%), Mississippi (7%) and Alaska (9.6%) held the highest unemployment rates.
"Construction activity and hiring of construction workers continued to be healthy in most of the nation," Bernard M. Markstein, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, said in his analysis for ABC.
—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate