The number of new construction jobs hit a 50-month high in October, marking the fifth consecutive month of gains in the sector, according to a government data analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Employers added 11,000 jobs last month, bringing construction employment to 5,834,000 nationwide. The number marks an increase of 185,000 from the same period last year and the industry’s highest level since August 2009.
Unemployment in the construction field, meanwhile, fell to 9 percent from 11.4 percent in October 2012.
“After some very dramatic declines and years of sluggish growth, the construction industry is slowly adding jobs,” Ken Simonson, the AGC’s chief economist, said in a release today. “The federal government shutdown did not appear to have undermined construction job growth in the short term, probably because it did not significantly impact projects that were already underway.”
Nonresidential construction firms added a total of 6,600 new jobs in October and residential firms added 4,800 jobs. Heavy and civil engineering firms in the nonresidential sector added only 200 jobs — a relatively small increase resulting from declining public sector demand, according to Simonson. — Julie Strickland