The construction industry added 22,000 employees between December and November, growing to a total of 7.56 million, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Construction employment increased 160,000 for the whole year, a 2.2% increase.
Residential construction employment declined by 4,100 employees, its second month of decline in all of 2021. Nonresidential construction, however, recorded its fourth consecutive month of employment increases with 27,000 employees added.
The unemployment rate among former construction workers was 5.0% in December, tying the lowest December rate since 2000 and down from 9.6% in December 2020.
Construction industry job openings totaled 345,000—a record for November data, according to AGC.
“Nonresidential contractors are increasingly busy and are eager to hire even more workers,” stated Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist. “But the low rate of unemployment and record job openings in construction show how difficult it is bringing enough workers on board.”
Compared with the pre-pandemic peak in February 2020, construction employment lagged by 88,000 positions. The nonresidential construction segment remained down by 169,000 positions compared with February 2020, and the residential construction industry is above the February 2020 employment mark by 82,000.
The full AGC report can be found here.