Construction Employment Rises By 1,000 In November And 146,000 In 12 Months; Slowing Job Gains May Be Sign Of Labor Shortages, Not Slumping Demand

December 6, 2019

Industry Continues to Add Workers Faster and Pay Higher Wages than Overall Economy as Association Officials Call on Congress and the White House to Pass the JOBS Act, Boost Funding for Career Training


Construction employment increased by 1,000 jobs in November and by 146,000, or 2.0 percent, over the past 12 months, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said recent modest monthly increases in industry employment likely reflect the difficulty contractors are having in finding workers rather than a letup in demand. Officials urged federal officials to pass the JOBS Act and boost funding for career and technical education programs to help ease labor shortages.


“Contractors report they remain busy and have lots of projects on their order books,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “But they find it extremely difficult to fill many positions despite paying more than other industries. That’s not surprising, given that the total unemployment rate returned to a 50-year low in November—a sign that all industries are competing for workers.”


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