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Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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Construction Employment Dips in December But Rising Hourly Earnings, Contractor Optimism Suggest Hiring Pause is Due to Worker Shortage

January 6, 2017
Construction employment slipped by 3,000 jobs in December, while average hourly earnings accelerated, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that recent construction spending numbers and their own survey of members suggest demand for construction remains strong, suggesting that the lack of hiring may be due to a shortage of available workers.
 
“This report presents mixed signals about the state of the construction industry,” said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. “Although a dip in employment might normally be a sign of declining demand, in this case the industry is raising wages and taking other steps to attract and retain workers. Construction spending in November hit a 10-year high, with one-month and year-over-year increases in all major segments. Looking ahead, contractors say they expect more work in every category in 2017 than in 2016.”
 
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