- Construction is on a hiring spree, netting 20,000 jobs in November. Year over year, it recorded a change of 248,000, or 3.3%, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by Associated Builders and Contractors.
- Nonresidential construction employment added 16,300 positions last month, with growth in all three of its subcategories: nonresidential building (8,200), heavy and civil engineering (5,300) and nonresidential specialty trade (2,800).
- The numbers are positive for construction jobseekers — especially as workers in sectors like technology have faced increasing layoffs in recent days — but won’t necessarily be good news for employers, as a recession continues to threaten the health of the economy, according to Anirban Basu, chief economist for ABC.
Construction’s unemployment rate fell from 4.1% in October to 3.9% in November, higher than the nationwide rate of 3.7%.
Employers have hired aggressively, increasing compensation in an effort to retain workers within the context of the great resignation, Basu said in the press release. Average hourly earnings for construction workers has increased by over $2 since November 2021, ABC found.
“For those who want inflation to abate, interest rates to fall and markets to be less volatile, the November jobs report is rather bad news,” Basu said. “Those operating in real estate and construction are likely to be discouraged, as these segments are heavily influenced by interest rates, and rising borrowing costs make it more difficult to finance the next generation of construction projects.”
Basu said some may think the jobs report makes a recession less likely, but “the reality is quite the opposite.”
“The Federal Reserve will be forced to push interest rates higher for longer, and that makes a downturn more probable over the next 12 months,” he said.