Construction Sector Adds 22,000 Employees in August, While Spending Increases In July Despite Downturn In Major Infrastructure Categories
Construction Employment Reaches 7,993,000 amid Strong Demand for Project, Firms Boost Pay to $34.40 an Hour as They Try to Attract a Limited Pool of Qualified Workers with Sector’s Unemployment at 3.9%
The construction industry added 22,000 jobs in August, while total construction spending rose 0.7 percent in July, despite a downturn in most infrastructure investment categories, according to an analysis of new government data the Associated General Contractors of America released today. Association officials cautioned that progress on many public infrastructure projects was likely being undermined by the added layers of red tape the Biden administration continues to add for new public works efforts.
“Today’s reports show there is no letup in demand for construction workers or private-sector projects,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “The industry is raising pay faster than other sectors amid persistently low unemployment. But contractors are frustrated by the slow pace of new public project awards.”
Construction employment in August totaled 7,993,000, seasonally adjusted, an increase of 22,000 from July and 212,000 or 2.7 percent from a year earlier. That outpaced total nonfarm job growth of 2.0 percent over 12 months. Nonresidential construction firms—nonresidential building and specialty trade contractors along with heavy and civil engineering construction firms—added 21,000 employees for the month and 169,700 (3.7 percent) since July 2022. Employment at residential building and specialty trade contractors grew by 1,400 last month and 42,400 (1.3 percent) over 12 months.