Construction Jobs Down 20K in May

A not-so-promising start to this year’s construction season.

Source : Wikimedia Commons

June 7, 2021

Author : Patty Rodriguez

Construction season is generally believed to begin between the first of April and the first of June, depending on the state you are in. So it’s somewhat bleak news that job numbers dropped this May.

According to an analysis by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry is down 20,000 jobs.

Screenshot via ABC.

Nonresidential construction jobs dropped by 21,800 on net with a majority of losses from nonresidential speciality trade contractors (a figure of 16,8000), according to ABC. On net, nonresidential building added 500 jobs however.

While the construction industry has regained nearly 80 percent of its losses from early-pandemic levels, a confluence of factors are squeezing companies including a labor shortage and sky-high material costs.

“The issue is not demand for workers, it is supply,” ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said in a press release. “The number of available, unfilled jobs openings in construction has been rising rapidly in recent months”

“Constraints on hiring are pushing wages higher,” he added. “This comes on top of materials price increases experienced in recent months. Remarkably, despite inflationary pressures, the ongoing wait for a meaningful federal infrastructure package and compromised commercial real estate fundamentals, most nonresidential contractors remain positive regarding their prospects over the balance of the year,” ABC’s Construction Confidence Index indicates that contractors expect sales, employment and profit margins to rise over the next six months. Backlog remains steady.”

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

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