Construction employment increased by 23,000 jobs in September and by 315,000 jobs over the past year, reaching a 10-year high, while the industry’s unemployment rate decreased more than half-a-percentage point to 4.1 percent from a year earlier, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Even as firms increase headcount and increase pay, a survey by the association suggests that this expansion is threatened by a lack of skilled craft labor.
“The construction industry added workers and increased pay in the past year at rates higher than the overall economy,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “However, the pool of unemployed workers with construction experience has nearly evaporated, pushing up contractors’ costs and adding to project completion times.”
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