Construction Unemployment Ends “Remarkable” Streak

Construction unemployment rates were down in ten states and unchanged in three in January on a year-over-year basis, according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. For the nation and 37 states, rates were higher than in January 2016, ending 75 consecutive months of year-over-year declines.

“It was inevitable that the remarkable ongoing streak of year-over-year declines in the national unemployment rate would come to an end at some point,” says Dr. Bernard M. Markstein, president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors. “The halt to this record may be largely due to the mounting shortage of skilled construction workers acting as a drag on the ability of the sector to grow. Despite this challenge, construction activity will continue to advance this year.”

The states with the lowest estimated NSA construction unemployment rates in order from lowest rate to highest were Hawaii, Utah and Virginia (tie), South Carolina and Texas.

The states with the highest NSA construction unemployment rates in order from lowest to highest rates were Montana, Illinois, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Alaska.

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