Construction Employment Falls in April, May but April Openings Rise

Associated General Contractors of America
June 10, 2016
COMMERCIAL

Construction employment dropped by 15,000 for the month, April to May (to 6,645,000) but increased by 219,000 (3.4 percent) year-over-year, according to the Associated General Contractor's Data DIGest report. The estimated change for April was revised from +5,000 to -1,000. 

Nonresidential employment shrank by 10,300 for the month but increased by 91,400 (2.3 percent) y-o-y. The mild weather in much of the nation in early 2016 may have meant contractors retained or hired more workers than usual early in the year and thus finished projects earlier or did not need to hire as many in the spring, according to AGC. 

There were 200,000 construction industry job openings, seasonally adjusted, at the end of April, the highest April total since 2007, although it was down slightly from the March level of 215,000. The ratio of end-of-month openings to monthly hires was the highest for April since 2001, suggesting that the dip in employment that month may have resulted from difficulty finding qualified applicants, according to the AGC report.