Construction employment reached a 10-year high in July as 19,000 jobs were added during the month and 303,000 jobs over the past year, according to an analysis of government data by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).
Employment in construction totaled 7,242,000 in July, a 4.4 percent increase compared with July 2017.
“The construction industry has added workers at nearly three times the rate of the economy as a whole, and the job gains are showing up in both residential and non-residential construction,” AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson said in a statement.
AGC officials said the employment numbers would have been higher if more qualified workers were available for hire.
“It is getting ever harder for contractors to find workers despite offering above-average pay and good career advancement opportunities,” Simonson said.
The average hourly earning in construction was $29.86 in July, an increase of 3.2 percent compared with the same period last year.
Unemployment for workers with construction experience was 3.4 percent in July, more than a percentage point lower than July 2017’s 4.9 percent unemployment, and a record low since 2000.
Residential construction employment grew 5.2 percent since July 2017, and nonresidential construction employment increased 4.0 percent.