AGC: Construction payrolls shrink; October spending goes up

Data DIGest
November 10, 2008

Seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment fell by 240,000 in October, and the unemployment rate rose from 6.1 percent to 6.5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, according to a Nov. 7 Data DIGest report. Worse, 179,000 more jobs vanished in August and September than was estimated last month. In the past year, payroll employment has decreased by 1,078,000 (-0.8 percent). Construction accounted for nearly half of those losses-508,000 (6.7 percent of the October 2007 construction job total), including 49,000 in October. Construction workers had the highest unemployment rate (10.8 percent, not seasonally adjusted) of any industry in October, and the largest increase (from 6.1 percent) over 12 months. Average hourly earnings in construction in October rose to $22.14, up 5.1 percent from October 2007, vs. a 3.5 percent gain (to $18.21) for all private production and nonsupervisory workers.

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