Overall construction employment fell by 20,000—0.3%—in May to a total of 7,423,000, the Associated General Contractors of America reports.
It’s the third time in the past four months that overall employment has declined. The total in May was 225,000 less than in February 2020, the most recent peak before the pandemic siphoned more than a million jobs from the industry.
“Steadily worsening production and delivery delays have exceeded even the record cost increases for numerous materials as the biggest headache for many nonresidential contractors,” stated Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist. “If they can’t get the materials, they can’t put employees to work.”
As has been the trend, the nonresidential construction sector fared worse than residential in job losses; residential construction has boomed as the demand for new and remodeled housing has soared. Residential construction firms gained 1,900 employees in May and increased by 35,000 more workers—1.2%—compared with February 2020. The nonresidential sector, however, shed 21,800 jobs in May and employed 260,000 fewer than in February 2020, a 5.6% decline.
The full AGC report can be found here.