Growth in Construction Jobs Continues in 2017 -ABC

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The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) has released a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics which claims that the national construction employment has set an approximate of 36,000 new jobs at the start of 2017. The 0.5 percent increase indicates the best month for construction employment growth since March 2016.

Based on an article published by theNews, 14,900 new jobs were added to the non-residential construction industry and 20,300 to the residential sector. There was also a 2.6 percent increase, on a yearly basis, in the construction industry with an estimate of 170,000 new jobs.

Anirban Basu, the Chief Economist of the Associated Builders and Contractors said, “Today’s employment report indicated growing strength in the construction along a variety of dimensions. First of all, there was job growth in both residential and non-residential categories. Over the past year, non-residential construction has accounted for roughly a quarter of total construction job creation. However, in January, non-residential activities accounted for more than 40 percent of net new jobs, indicating relatively faster performance improvement in that part of the nation’s construction sector.”

Basu further stated, “Secondly, the industry’s unemployment rate surged in January to 9.4 percent. While one would be tempted to suggest that this was due to a loss of seasonal construction employment, that cannot be a primary explanation since the total number of construction jobs expanded meaningfully in January. The better explanation is that more people have begun to look for work in the construction industry, perhaps in part because of indications from the new administration in Washington, District of Columbia, that an infrastructure-led stimulus package is now in the works.”

In addition, Basu explained, “The rapid pace of hiring is consistent with ABC’s backlog survey, which indicates that the typical non-residential construction firm can look forward to many more months of activity. With continued aggressive investment in commercial properties and still-low interest rates, the backlog will continue to expand among many contractors. Indeed, the architecture billing index, a key industry leading indicator, surged late last year in part because of growing confidence in the U.S. economy.”

The article also indicated that in January, the construction unemployment rate increased by 2 percentage points and is now recorded with 9.4 percent. The unemployment rate in the United States has decreased by a tenth of a percentage point over that same time coverage.

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