Construction employment last month saw a 3.3 percent year-over-year increase with 228,000 jobs while the industry’s unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America
. While the 7,150,000 jobs in March represented a drop of 15,000 from February, it was the lowest recorded level for March.
The quantity of residential construction jobs in March—comprising residential building and specialty trade contractors—dropped by 7,000 from February but soared by 114,200 jobs, or 4.3 percent, over the previous year. Nonresidential construction employment also increased by 114,200, or 2.7 percent, over 12 months, although it was 8,200 jobs fewer than one month earlier. Hourly earnings in the industry averaged $29.43 in March, a rise of 2.9 percent from a year earlier.
“Construction employment indicators are still signaling strong demand on an annual basis, even though unusually bad weather in several regions probably depressed hiring in March,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Employment is rising twice as fast as for the overall economy, pay rates and growth are outpacing the private sector as a whole, and the industry’s unemployment rate was the lowest ever for March.”