Construction Unemployment Falling to Lowest Level Since 2001

The construction industry is experiencing positive employment trends as unemployment falls to its lowest levels since June of 2001. The expansion of the private and public construction jobs have made this possible and local construction companies, such as Homeowners Choice Construction LLC in Tampa, Florida are seeking creative ways to distinguish their company from peers and competitors. Recent Census Bureau data on construction spending depicts there is high demand for new construction — in line with the record high employment numbers.

According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), construction employment was at 6.4 million in May and June, the highest since 2009, while unemployed workers totaled to 522,000 (a record low since 2001).

In addition, the AGC reported that average weekly hours for construction workers was at 39.9 hours – the most hours recorded since 1947.

Figures for private projects for residential buildings such as apartments and public works projects such as civil engineering have risen. According to the analysis by the AGC, “Residential (building and specialty trades) construction employment … increased by 127,000 (5.5 percent) over 12 months. Nonresidential (building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering) construction employment rose 131,800 (3.5 percent) over 12 months”.

However, all of this positive news does not always bode well for contractors who are having a difficult time finding the right type of skilled workers for their projects.  The fact is, “…Until now, all segments of the industry have added workers at a faster rate than the overall economy. But some projects may be delayed or put on hold without new measures to recruit and prepare future workers,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the AGC.

AGC officials warn a work shortage of key trained personnel could be at stake. As such, the AGC wants federal, state and private contractors to increase their efforts to not just recruit construction personnel but to provide adequate training and career incentives. According to a senior executive at Homeowners Choice Construction, one of the leading construction companies in Tampa, Florida, “Education is key. Training courses and other continuing education programming should be offered to ensure that workers are getting the high quality education necessary – especially as new technologies and techniques are being introduced into our industry.”Adequate training of construction workers ensures that contractors have access to the best workers in construction, an essential ingredient for success in today’s competitive marketplace.

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