The construction industry added 20,000 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 risen by 248,000 jobs, an increase of 3.3%.
Nonresidential construction employment increased by 16,300 positions on net, with growth registered in all three subcategories. Nonresidential building added 8,200 net new jobs, while heavy and civil engineering and nonresidential specialty trade added 5,300 and 2,800 jobs, respectively.
The construction unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in November, while unemployment across all industries remained unchanged at 3.7%.
“Today’s employment report will be celebrated by many, including jobseekers and other labor market participants,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Despite some recent high-profile layoffs, employers continue to hire aggressively and are increasing compensation in an effort to retain employees in the context of the ‘great resignation.’
“Normally, such dynamics would be celebrated by all,” said Basu. “However, for those who want inflation to abate, interest rates to fall and markets to be less volatile, the November jobs report is rather bad news. Those operating in real estate and construction are likely to be discouraged, as these segments are heavily influenced by interest rates, and rising borrowing costs make it more difficult to finance the next generation of construction projects.
“Moreover, while some will claim that this jobs report makes it less likely that recession is coming next year, the reality is quite the opposite,” said Basu. “The Federal Reserve will be forced to push interest rates higher for longer, and that makes a downturn more probable over the next 12 months.”