The construction industry added 25,000 jobs in May, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That increase follows an estimated 21,000 boost in April. In the last 12 months, construction employment has increased by 286,000 jobs, an increase of over 4%.
Average hourly earnings also continued their slow climb, rising two cents to $29.65 in May, BLS data show. Average hourly earnings are more than 10% higher for construction workers than the total private industry average of $26.92 per hour.
Average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers were flat, rising just one cent to $27.50 in May.
Unemployment among construction workers was 4.4%, down from 6.5% last month. Total unemployment for all nonfarm workers was 3.8%.
Residential building accounts for a significant portion of that growth. In the last three months, employment for residential building was more than double that of nonresidential building construction. Year over year, residential building employment has grown by nearly 6%, compared to the 2.5% increase in nonresidential building construction.
Specialty trade contractors are the primary employers in the construction industry, BLS data show. Residential specialty trade contractors account for 28% of all construction employees, compared to nearly 11% of workers in residential building construction.