Construction Unemployment Improves in July

Not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rates improved in 43 states and the nation as a whole during the month of July, according to analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

The industry added 209,000 workers on a year-over-year basis. The national NSA construction unemployment rate of 4.5 percent was 1 percent lower than a year ago.

“The drop in the construction unemployment rate from July 2015 adds yet another month to the unbroken monthly series of year-over-year rate decreases that started in October 2010,” says Dr. Bernard M. Markstein, president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors. “The national NSA construction unemployment rate has fallen from June to July most years since 2000, when the BLS data for this series begins. Given that these are not seasonally adjusted data and that construction activity normally continues to rise nationwide in the summer months, this outcome is to be expected. This year’s decrease of 0.1 percent from June is no exception.”

For the third month in a row, the estimated construction unemployment rates for all the states were below 10 percent. The last time that happened was from June to August 2005.

The five states with the lowest estimated NSA construction unemployment rates in order from lowest rate to highest were Idaho, Vermont, North Dakota, Colorado and South Dakota. The five states with the highest estimated NSA construction unemployment rates (from lowest to highest) were Illinois and Louisiana (tie), Alabama, Rhode Island and New Mexico.

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