PROVIDENCE – The construction industry saw an increase of 36,000 jobs in January, bringing the total number of construction jobs to 7.1 million, according to a press release from the Associated General Contractors of America. This is the highest amount of employment the industry has seen since 2008.
Industry employment saw a 3.3 percent overall increase in 2017, with 226,000 new jobs being created over the year.
Average hourly earnings in the industry saw a 2.9 percent increase in 2017, rising to $29.33. The industry’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent in January, a decline from 9.4 percent in January 2017.
With the lower unemployment, it may be more difficult for some projects to find workers.
“The outlook remains positive for further growth in the industry. But finding workers to complete all projects will be a challenge with unemployment so low overall in construction,” said Ken Simonson, AGCA’s chief economist.
The AGCA also praised President Donald Trump’s push to spend $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years to bolster infrastructure.
“Bringing our aging infrastructure back to a state of good repair will support short-term economic growth while making our economy more efficient and competitive over the long-term,” said AGCA CEO Stephen E. Sandheer in a statement.
Lauren Aratani is a PBN contributing writer.