Construction companies created 12,000 new jobs in October and sent the industry’s unemployment rate to its lowest level since 2006, according to a report released Thursday by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Homebuilders and trade contractors added 8,000 employees, while nonresidential contractor jobs grew by 3,600 employees.
Hourly wages in the construction sector grew 2.6% since October 2013, the fastest rate since early 2010, the report said.
For the past few months, the construction industry has added jobs at a rate double that of all industries combined. That would be better news if employers could find skilled workers to fill them.
In fact, rising wages and weekly hours are a sign that contractors will have even more trouble finding qualified employees. In another survey by the association, 83% of its members said they were struggling to hire craft workers and 61% couldn’t recruit enough construction professionals.
The newly created jobs, noted the association’s CEO, Stephen E. Sandherr, “are in jeopardy unless schools, colleges, and training programs can refill a pool of talent that is rapidly drying up."