Estimated November construction unemployment
rates fell nationally and in 44 states on a year-over-year
basis, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data recently
released by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).
the November 2018 not seasonally adjusted (NSA) national construction
unemployment rate fell 1.1 percent from a year ago to 3.9 percent, the
construction industry employed 277,000 more workers nationally compared to
November 2017, according to BLS statistics.
as much of the nation moved into its annual cold weather slowdown, employment
of construction workers continued to be fairly strong,” says Bernard M. Markstein, the president and chief
economist of Markstein Advisors who conducted the analysis for ABC, in a
written release. “Unemployment rates were lower compared to a year ago in 44
states, higher in five states and unchanged in one, Idaho. The country and 32
states posted their lowest November construction
unemployment rates on record. Further, this is the first November on record
when all state unemployment rates except for Alaska’s were below seven
these industry-specific rates are not seasonally adjusted, national and
state-level unemployment rates are best evaluated on a year-over-year basis,
says ABC. The monthly movement of the rates still provides some information,
although extra care must be used in drawing conclusions from these variations.
national NSA construction unemployment rate from October to November rose 0.3
percent. Thirty-four states posted higher estimated construction unemployment
rates; 15 states were down from October and one, Arkansas, was unchanged.
states with the lowest estimated NSA construction unemployment rates were:
1. Utah, 2.2 percent
2. Delaware, 2.3 percent
3. Vermont, 2.4 percent
4. Georgia and Oklahoma (tied), 2.6 percent
and Vermont were also in the top five in October. Utah had the lowest
construction unemployment rate in November, up from second lowest in October.
had the second lowest rate in November, an improvement from the 14th lowest rate in October and the state’s lowest November
construction unemployment rate on record. (Note that Delaware’s unemployment
rate is a rate for construction, mining and logging combined.) The data to
estimate a construction unemployment rate alone are not available for either
Delaware nor Hawaii.
the second month in a row, Vermont had the third lowest rate in November. This
was the state’s lowest November construction unemployment rate on record.
and Oklahoma tied for the fourth lowest rate in November, the lowest on record
for both states for the month. For Georgia, that was up from seventh lowest in
October (tied with Texas). For Oklahoma, it was an improvement from the 28th lowest rate. Oklahoma also posted the largest monthly
decline, down 1.1 percent, and the fourth largest year-over-year drop, down 2.5
percent (tied with North Dakota).
which had the lowest rate in October, fell to ninth lowest in November with a 3
percent rate (tied with Florida). Nevertheless, it was the state’s lowest
November rate on record.
Dakota, which tied with Vermont and Wyoming for the third lowest construction
unemployment rate in October, dropped to 17th lowest in November with a rate of 3.3 percent. This was
still the state’s second lowest November rate on record behind the 2.5 percent
rate in 2015.
Wyoming slipped to seventh lowest in November with a 2.9 percent rate, tied
with Virginia. It was the state’s lowest November rate since 2007, when it was
2.6 percent rate, and the second largest year-over-year decrease in the nation,
down 3.5 percent.
The states with the highest estimated NSA construction unemployment rates in order
from lowest to highest were:
45. Mississippi and Rhode Island (tied), 6 percent
47. Illinois, 6.2 percent
48. Maine, 6.5 percent
49. Montana, 6.6 percent
50. Alaska, 14.4 percent
and Mississippi were also in the bottom five in October. For the fourth month in a row, Alaska
had the highest estimated construction unemployment rate. Nonetheless, this was the state’s lowest November rate on
record, matching its 2015 rate.
had the second highest rate compared to ninth highest in
October (tied with Tennessee). Its 3.2 percent year-over-year drop was the
third largest decrease among the states. Also, it was the state’s lowest
November rate since 2007, when it was 4.2 percent.
had the third highest rate in November compared to
sixth highest in October (tied with Connecticut and Illinois).
Illinois had the fourth highest rate in November compared to
sixth highest in October (tied with Connecticut and Maine). Still, this was the state’s lowest November construction
unemployment rate on record.
Mississippi and Rhode Island tied
for the fifth highest rate in November. For Mississippi
this was an improvement from second highest in October. It
was the state’s lowest November rate on record and the third largest monthly
decrease in the nation, down 0.9 percent. For Rhode Island, that compared to 17th highest in October, tied with Ohio. This was the state’s
second lowest November rate since the construction unemployment rate reached
5.1 percent in 2004, behind a rate of 5.9 percent in 2017.
Kentucky, which had the third highest rate in October, improved to 10th highest in November with a 5.2 percent rate, tied with
Michigan. Also, this was Kentucky’s lowest November construction unemployment rate on record.
and West Virginia, which tied for the fourth
highest rate in October based on revised data (originally reported as third
and eighth highest, respectively), improved to ninth and seventh highest,
respectively, with rates of 5.4 percent and 5.9 percent rate. For both states,
it was their lowest November construction unemployment rate on record.