The construction industry added 2,000 jobs on net in November, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On a year-over-year basis, industry employment has increased by 200,000 jobs, an increase of 2.6%.
Nonresidential construction employment increased by 1,400 positions on net in November, with growth concentrated in one subcategory. Heavy and civil engineering added 3,300 positions, while nonresidential building and nonresidential specialty trade lost 1,100 and 800 jobs, respectively.
The construction unemployment rate rose to 4.8% in November. Unemployment across all industries decreased from 3.9% in October to 3.7% last month.
“U.S. employers once again added jobs at a faster pace than expected in November,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “While construction added only 2,000 jobs for the month, the industry has added jobs at a significantly faster pace than the broader economy over the past year. That’s especially true for the nonresidential sector, in which employment has increased by an impressive 3.2% over the past year. That momentum is largely attributable to megaprojects in the manufacturing sector.
“Faster hiring in the industry has coincided with worsening labor shortages, and that has led to rapid increases in labor costs,” said Basu. “Average hourly earnings for construction employees increased at a faster pace than economywide earnings on both a monthly and yearly basis in November. With nearly half of contractors planning to increase their staffing levels over the six months, according to ABC’s Construction Confidence Index, wage pressures will remain firmly in place through the early parts of 2024.”