- Construction companies added 46,000 jobs in November, the highest number in two years and the most of any other sector, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning.
- As a whole, the U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs in November, as the unemployment rate remained at 5%.
- In addition to the major employment gains for the construction industry, the strong jobs report also "all but guarantees" that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates during its December meeting, The New York Times noted.
The BLS added that the division of the construction industry that added the most jobs in November was residential specialty trade contractors, with a gain of 26,000 jobs.
The major jump in construction employment coincides with the construction spending numbers released earlier this month, as spending rose 1.0% in October to $1.107 trillion — its highest level in eight years.
The ongoing skilled labor shortage continues to plague the industry, as employers struggle to fill both hourly craft jobs and salaried professional positions. But November's significant employment gains — which followed an additional 31,000 jobs in October — signal that some employers have been able to find talent, possibly with the help of successful recruiting efforts and an increase in wages.
Another factor in the November employment rise could be the expectation last month that Congress would pass a long-term highway funding bill, rather than continue the streak of uncertainty with short-term extensions. And, as expected, Congress passed a five-year, $305 billion transportation funding measure this week.