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U.S. construction unemployment hits record low for April

U.S. construction unemployment hits record low for April

ARLINGTON, VA. — The U.S. construction sector added 15,000 jobs in April while the sector’s unemployment rate fell to a record low for the month, according to recent analysis of new government data from the Associated General Contractors of America.

“Contractors can’t find, reach, hire and train workers fast enough to keep pace with demand,” said Stephen Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer, in a release. “The pool of qualified, available labour is the smallest the industry has ever seen for the month of April.”

Construction employment in April totalled 7,903,000, seasonally adjusted, an addition of 15,000 or 0.2 per cent from the month prior.

Nonresidential construction firms added only 800 employees in April. Meanwhile, employment at residential building and specialty trade contractors grew by 14,200 or 0.4 per cent.

The unemployment rate among jobseekers with construction experience declined from 4.6 per cent in April 2022 to 4.1 per cent, the lowest April rate in the 23-year history of the data.

A separate government report released recently reported that job openings in construction at the end of March totalled 355,000, just shy of the all-time high for March of 359,000.

Average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees in construction, covering most onsite craft workers as well as many office workers, jumped by 6.7 per cent over the year to $33.94 per hour.

Construction firms in April provided a wage premium of nearly 19 per cent compared to the average hourly earnings for all private-sector production employees.

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