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Construction employment was on the rise last month, with 37,000 new jobs added from the previous and 301,000 over the past 12 months, according to data from the Associated General Contractors of America.
Construction employment totaled 6,672,000 in March, the highest level since December 2008. The residential construction sector increased by 13,400 jobs in March and by 166,000, or 6.8 percent, compared to a year ago. Nonresidential construction added 23,900 jobs for the month and 134,800 jobs compared to March 2015, a 3.4 percent increase.
The association also tracked construction spending in February, which totaled $1.144 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate. While this was 0.5 percent below the upwardly revised January total, it was 10.3 percent higher than in February 2015. Private residential spending rose 0.9 percent for the month and 10.7 percent compared to February 2015, while spending on multifamily residential construction increased 0.9 percent for the month and 24.1 percent year-over-year. Single-family construction spending climbed 1.2 percent from January and 10.6 percent compared to February 2015. In comparison private nonresidential construction spending slipped 1.3 percent for the month but gained 10.6 percent from a year earlier.
“These two reports confirm that demand for construction is robust and well-balanced among residential, private nonresidential and public segments,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Compared with the same month a year ago, the industry is adding workers at more than double the rate of the overall economy, and construction spending continues to rise at a double-digit pace.”