The construction industry added 110,000 jobs in March, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data released on April 2 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry has added 931,000 jobs since April 2020, recovering 83.6% of the jobs lost during earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
An uptick in construction employment can indicate possible construction of new residential and municipal water well systems.
The construction unemployment rate fell to 8.6% in March from 9.6% in February, but it is still 1.7 percentage points higher than in March 2020. Unemployment across all industries declined from 6.2% in February to 6% in March.
A significant percentage of the job growth was registered in nonresidential construction, which added 73,100 jobs in March. The number of nonresidential specialty trade contractor positions expanded by 38,200, while the nonresidential building segment added 7600 positions.
“Here comes the tsunami of economic and employment growth across America,” says ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “With more stimulus on the way, the United States may end up growing faster than China this year, which would be the first time that occurred in decades.
“Much of the stimulus to come will directly affect construction, particularly the heavy and civil engineering segment,” Basu says. “While any infrastructure stimulus should be geared toward projects generating the highest rates of return and open to bids by all competent contractors, the sheer volume of money flowing into the economy is set to create massive forward momentum for the balance of 2021 and likely through 2022.”
Contractor optimism seems to reflect this building momentum, according to the latest ABC Construction Confidence Index.
Click here to learn more about the construction employment statistics.