The nonresidential construction sector added 10,300 net new jobs in June after adding 4,900 in May (revised upward from 4,400 jobs), while the residential sector added 6,000 net jobs for the month.
The construction industry unemployment rate, which fell 1 percentage point in May, declined further in June and now stands at 4.5 percent. Construction unemployment tends to decline in the summer, ABC says. However, the decline in unemployment is still significant because industry unemployment now stands near lows in 2006.
“This jobs report is just what the doctor ordered,” says ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “June’s employment gains impressed along every dimension. In addition to a robust headline of 222,000 jobs created, the labor force participation rate ticked higher to 62.8 percent from 62.7 percent and the employment-to-population ratio edged higher to 60.1 percent from 60 percent. While the labor force participation rate is only a bit higher than it was a year ago, the employment-to-population ratio is up 0.5 percent. Idleness has been on the decline in America, at least based upon the latter measure.
“Construction job growth represents an important part of the story. The majority of construction job gains in June were in nonresidential construction, though performance within the nonresidential building and heavy/civil engineering segments was subdued. Within nonresidential construction, nonresidential specialty trade contractors represented more than 100 percent of job gains,” says Basu.
“Prior to June, the nation had failed to add 200,000 or more jobs in five of eight months. June was a welcome respite from an emerging trend of softening job growth. However, the acceleration in job creation may not last. Job gains in June were likely aided by high school and post-secondary graduations, resulting in a surge in new job seekers and more opportunities to fill available job openings. America continues to face structural shortfalls in skilled human capital, something that construction industry leaders know all too well.”