Today's News

Construction jobs in February reach highest level since June 2009

March 7, 2014
KEYWORDS AGC / construction
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

According to the Associated General Contractors of America, construction employers added 15,000 workers to payrolls in February despite harsh winter working conditions. This raised industry employment to the highest level since June 2009. However, association officials noted that as the industry adds jobs many firms report they are already having a hard time finding skilled workers.

“The rate of construction hiring has outpaced job growth in the overall economy for the past year,” said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. “During that time, all construction segments have added workers.” 

Construction employment totaled 5.9 million in February, the highest total in 4.5 years and an increase of 152,000 or 2.6% from a year earlier, whereas total nonfarm employment rose by 1.6% over that span, Simonson noted. Among industry segments, residential construction employers led the way with the addition of 1,700 workers in February and 101,200 over 12 months. Nonresidential construction added 12,700 employees since January and 50,600 since February 2013.

“While demand for construction employees is rising at a healthy clip, workers are still leaving the industry faster than they are being hired, a dynamic that may result in widespread worker shortages in the near future,” Simonson warned. “In the past four years, nearly a million experienced workers have left the industry for jobs in other sectors, retirement, or school. They are no longer available for immediate recall to construction jobs.”

The unemployment rate for workers actively looking for jobs and last employed in construction declined from 15.7% a year earlier to 12.8% last month—the lowest February rate since 2008. Simonson noted that the unemployment rate for construction workers had fallen by more than half since February 2010, when it reached 27.1%. During that time, the number of unemployed workers who last worked in construction declined by 1.34 million, but industry employment increased by only 438,000.

“Because persistently severe winter weather delayed many projects in the past few months, contractors are likely to be posting ‘help wanted’ signs on even more jobsites this spring,” Simonson added. “Multifamily, manufacturing, and oil and gas-related facilities will generate particularly strong demand for workers. Contractors in many regions and specialties may have trouble finding the employees they’ll need.”

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ES Gallery: Snapshots & Systems

Check out highlights from projects featured in our magazine this year!
9/25/14 2:00 pm EDT

Test Anxiety? Learn How and When to Test Your Standby Generator

This webinar will discuss generator reliability, testing, and troubleshooting from a practical perspective and make recommendations for a comprehensive inspection and testing program.

Engineered Systems Magazine

es0914_Cover-100.jpg

2014 September

Check out the September 2014 issue of Engineered Systems, with features on radiant panels, refrigerant flow systems, and much more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

System Design

Based on your experience and knowledge level, are you currently comfortable designing or maintaining a system incorporating VRF or radiant ceiling panels?
View Results Poll Archive

THE ENGINEERED SYSTEMS STORE

The_Green_Energy_Management
The Green Energy Management Book

Learn from our experts how to evaluate job opportunities, market your services, sell a Walk-through Survey, target areas for an Energy Audit, calculate energy savings, do retrofit work, and win continuing contracts for retrofit work.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas Research ImageWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Tomorrow's Environment Podcast

This series from longtime columnist and chronic forward-thinker Howard McKew covers a lot of ground -- from retrocommissioning to systems training, on toward checklists for drawings and tips for meeting minutes. Click HERE to be taken to the podcast page!

STAY CONNECTED

new Facebook icon Twitter icon YouTube iconLinkedIn icon  Google+