Construction unemployment drops to lowest mark in five years for month of May

June 07, 2013 03:30PM

Construction employment increased by 7,000 jobs month-over-month in May, which helped push construction unemployment down to 10.8 percent — its lowest May level in five years, according to a release from the Associated General Contractors of America, a trade organization. A total of 189,000 jobs were added year-over-year in May, a 3.4 percent gain.

Total construction employment in May was just over 5.8 million.

“Although the monthly job gain in May was modest, both residential and nonresidential construction have been adding workers at roughly double the rate of the overall economy in the past year,” AGC chief economist Ken Simonson said in a release from the organization. But he added a caveat: “At the same time, formerly unemployed construction workers are finding jobs in other sectors, retiring or going back to school. These conditions may lead abruptly to worker shortages in parts of the industry, such as welders and pipefitters.”

Residential building added 5,500 workers month-over-month and almost 95,000 year-over-year, the report shows, while nonresidential construction added 1,700 laborers month-over-month and nearly 96,000 year-over-year. —Zachary Kussin