- The construction industry added 37,000 jobs in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Associated General Contractors of America reported Friday.
- In March, construction employment was at 6,672,000 — the highest number since December 2008 and 4.7% higher than March 2015, according to the AGC.
- Within the industry, the nonresidential construction sector added 23,900 jobs, while the residential segment added 13,400 jobs.
The AGC said Friday's job gains along with the construction spending report signal that the construction industry is slowly growing to keep up with demand. "Compared with the same month a year ago, the industry is adding workers at more than double the rate of the overall economy," AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson said in a statement.
March's employment surge in construction followed two slower months, as the industry added only 18,000 jobs in January and 19,000 in February.
However, the industry continues to struggle with the ongoing lack of available labor. The number of unemployed workers in March who last worked in construction reached 768,000 — the lowest total for the month since 2001. "Construction firms are finding a way to add staff to keep pace with growing demand for their services," AGC President Stephen Sandherr said in a release. "But the pool of available experienced labor is small and getting smaller."
Industry groups have consistently warned that the construction industry needs to develop a plan to build up the worker pipeline, with some suggesting marketing efforts, a greater focus on technical training in school, immigration reform and a broad coalition effort.