A new survey released by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) shows that 91% of construction contractors are having a tough time finding workers, which has limited the number of jobs added during August.
An analysis of federal employment data released by the AGC reports that construction firms added 16,000 jobs in August.
“Nonresidential construction activity is growing but contractors universally report difficulty hiring as many workers as they need,” says Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “With the industry unemployment rate hovering below 4%, finding qualified applicants is sure to remain a major challenge.”
According to AGC’s data, total construction employment climbed to 7,708,000 in August as both residential and nonresidential construction firms added jobs for the month.
Nonresidential firms added 4,300 employees, as gains of 700 jobs at general building contractors and 5,600 at nonresidential specialty trade contractors offset a loss of 2,000 at heavy and civil engineering construction firms. Employment in residential construction — homebuilders, multifamily general contractors, and residential specialty trade contractors — increased by 10,900 in August.
Year-to-date, the construction industry has added 311,000 jobs, an increase of 4.2%. The nonresidential sector added 191,600 of those yearly job gains, an increase of 4.4%. Residential construction firms added 118,700 jobs between August 2021 and August 2022, an increase of 4%.
The unemployment rate among jobseekers with construction experience fell from 4.6% in August 2021 to 3.9% in August 2022, Simonson says that the low unemployment rate is consistent with the association’s recent survey, which found that 93% of responding firms had open positions.