October was another positive month for construction unemployment rates around much of the country, according to Census Bureau analysis by Dr. Bernard Markstein of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

Courtesy of Associated Builders and Contractors. Click to expand.
Courtesy of Associated Builders and Contractors. Click to expand.

Year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted (NSA), construction unemployment rates for the country and 30 states were lower in October this year. Year-to-date, construction has added 159,000 seasonally adjusted (SA) jobs. Meanwhile, NSA jobs nationally increased by 228,000 from October 2014 to October 2015. Additionally, SA construction spending in October increased 1 percent from September. Year-to-date NSA construction spending as of October was up 10.7 percent.

This October, the national rate rose 0.7 percent to 6.2 percent. The estimated NSA construction unemployment rate increased for 38 states from September

The five states with the lowest construction unemployment rates in order were North Dakota, South Dakota*, Nebraska and Utah (tie), and Colorado. (The unemployment rate for South Dakota is for construction, mining and logging combined.)

The top four states—North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Utah—were among the top five in September. North Dakota maintained its number-one position for the fourth month in a row. Also, North Dakota’s estimated construction unemployment rate of 1.8 percent was down 0.2 percent on a year-over-year basis. This follows four months of year-over-year increases.

South Dakota moved up to second place position with a construction unemployment rate of 2.6 percent from third place in September based on revised data (it was previously reported in second place). This was despite a 0.4 percent increase in its rate from October 2014.

The five states with the highest construction unemployment rates (from lowest to highest) were Arizona and West Virginia (tie), Mississippi, Georgia and Alaska.

Two of the five states with the highest estimated construction unemployment rates in October—Georgia and West Virginia—were among the five highest in September.

Alaska took over as the state with the highest estimated construction unemployment rate in October. The rise into double digits (10.1 percent) for Alaska’s construction unemployment rate is the norm for that time of year for that state, according to Markstein. Since 2002, Alaska’s October rate has been in double digits every year except for last year. With the exception of the 2014 estimate, this October’s rate is the state’s lowest rate for the month since 2001.
Georgia had the second highest rate in October (8.6 percent). In September, it had the third highest based on revised data (previously reported as tied with Connecticut for second highest).

Read more on ABC’s website.