Construction jobs held steady in the second quarter, falling less than a percent each month from 7.43 million in April to 7.41 million in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs in June were up 13.39% over the pandemic low in April 2020, and 3.33% over a year ago.
Construction unemployment in June was an estimated 7.5%. After a slight uptick in April, overall unemployment continued its downward track, from 6.1% in April to 5.9% in March.
Hiring has slowed since a boom in remodeling in May 2020, according to Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders.
“Looking forward, the construction job openings rate is likely to experience choppiness in the months ahead given divergent outlooks within the construction industry. Nonetheless, attracting skilled labor will remain a key objective for residential and nonresidential construction firms in the coming quarters and will become more challenging as the rest of the economy reopens,” according to Dietz.
The biggest job gains were among specialty trade contractors, particularly residential trades, according to BLS. New residential trade jobs numbered 12,700 in June, but were offset by a loss of 14,800 jobs in nonresidential trades.
In Colorado, preliminary data show construction jobs fell to 171,500 in May, from 171,600 in April and a revised 172,100 in March, BLS data show. May jobs are down 4.5% from the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Overall unemployment in Colorado was at 6.2% in May, continuing its steady recovery.