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Survey: Residential Construction Jobs are Up

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

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The Associated General Contractors America released its latest construction industry jobs data at the end of last week, detailed that while 158,000 workers were added in June, most of the job gains were seen by residential construction and, in fact, infrastructure jobs declined.

Association officials cautioned that additional infrastructure job losses are “inevitable unless the federal government replenishes depleted state and local budgets for roads and other public works.”

The Data

“The gain in construction employment in June was concentrated in homebuilding, with scattered increases in nonresidential building, while heavy and civil engineering construction employment—the category that includes many highway and other infrastructure workers—shrank by nearly 10,000 jobs,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist.

“Unfortunately, those infrastructure-related jobs are likely to keep declining as state and local governments postpone or cancel projects in order to cover the huge budget deficits they are facing in the fiscal year that began for many agencies on July 1.”

ktsimage / Getty Images

The Associated General Contractors America released its latest construction industry jobs data at the end of last week, detailed that while 158,000 workers were added in June, most of the job gains were seen by residential construction and, in fact, infrastructure jobs declined.

The survey, which was conducted June 9-17, found that almost one out of three contractors reported a project that was scheduled to start in June or later had been canceled and only one-fifth of firms reported winning new or expanded projects, a share that had held steady since April.

Despite the addition of jobs in May and June, the AGC reports that employment remained 330,000 jobs—or 4.4%—below last year’s level. Other stats include:

  • Heavy and civil engineering construction segment lost 9,700 jobs in June and 60,100 jobs (-5.6%) over the year;
  • Nonresidential building construction employment increased by 13,100 for the month but declined by 47,000 jobs (-5.5%) over the year;
  • Employment among nonresidential specialty trade contractors rose by 71,300 in June but decreased by 140,000 (-5.2%) from a year earlier;
  • Residential building firms added 19,100 employees in June but lost 21,000 positions (-2.6%) over 12 months;
  • Residential specialty trade contractors added 64,100 employees last month but lost 63,000 workers (-3.0%) over the year; and
  • The industry’s unemployment rate in June was 10.1%, with 962,000 former construction workers idled.

With these numbers, the AGC again urged infrastructure funding.

“We urge officials of both parties, both sides of Capitol Hill, and the Administration to come together promptly on meaningful increases in infrastructure funding,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC CEO.

“Without quick action, the job gains of the past two months will be lost, along with the opportunity to start on improving the nation’s infrastructure at a time when labor availability is high and materials and borrowing costs are low.”

Previous Data

AGC released data in the middle of June that indicated construction activity had returned to pre-COVID-19 levels in 34 states.

Those numbers, which came from an AGC survey and data from construction technology firm Procore, also showed that some future projects are being canceled and that others are delayed because of supply chain issues and labor shortages.

In addition to the 34 states, construction has also reached pre-pandemic levels in Dallas and Miami in terms of large metro areas. Meanwhile, the AGC survey found that just 8% of firms were forced to layoff or furlough workers in June while 21% added employees.

In the May jobs survey, that data showed that employment had bounced back by 464,000 jobs in May.

View all of PaintSquare Daily News' COVID-19 coverage, here.

   

Tagged categories: Associated General Contractors (AGC); COVID-19; Good Technical Practice; Industry surveys; Jobs; Market data; NA; North America

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