The construction industry added 20,000 jobs in July, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bulk of those jobs were in the residential building space, followed by specialty contractors, which together account for an increase of 27,500 jobs. Those gains were offset by a loss of over 9,000 jobs in the nonresidential construction sector.
In May and June, the industry added 619,000 jobs, BLS noted, adding that those gains are still below February levels by 444,000 jobs.
BLS data on hiring and turnover show that hiring in construction is stronger than ever. Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, noted that hiring in May increased to 9.7%.
“This was the strongest rate of hiring in the history of the JOLTS data. In June, the rate was 6.9%, slower than May but still well above average,” Dietz wrote in a blog post.
He added that labor is still a challenge for most builders, who are struggling to find skilled construction workers.
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However, “home building and remodeling are relative bright spots for the overall economy, while nonresidential construction will experience a period of weakness,” Dietz said