Residential construction—comprising residential building and specialty trade contractors—added 7,100 jobs in May and 191,000, or 4.7 percent, over the past 12 months. Nonresidential construction (building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering construction) employment increased by 4,400 jobs in May and 71,300, or 1.7 percent, over 12 months. Construction employment totaled 6,881,000 in May, a gain of 11,000 from the April total and an increase of 191,000 or 2.9 percent from a year ago. But even with these increases, a shortage of available qualified workers is creating challenges for this industry.
“Construction firms continued adding new jobs at a faster rate than the broader economy during the past year as demand for their services remains strong,” said Ken Simonson, the trade association’s chief economist. “Even so, they had to keep employees on the job for more hours because they could not find enough qualified people to hire.”