Jobseekers with construction experience hits record low
By Lewis Tyler25 July 2022
The number of jobseekers in the US with experience in construction has hit a record low according to data analysed by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).
Federal employment data compiled by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the unemployment rate among jobseekers with construction experience declined from 7.5% in June 2021 to 3.7% last month, the lowest rate for June since data has been compiled.
Total construction employment moved up by 13,000 employees to 7.6 million in June, however, association officials claim that the industry could have added more jobs in June had it not been for the shortage of available skilled workers.
Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist said, “With industry unemployment at a record low for June and openings at an all-time high for May, it is clear contractors can’t fill all the positions they would like to.”
In total, the construction industry had 466,000 construction-industry job openings at the end of May, an increase of 39% from last year and the largest May total since 2000.
The association say that the data, which also revealed the number of unemployed construction workers fell by 345,000 to 385,000, has shown that demand for projects is outpacing the supply of workers.
“The industry is working hard to recruit new people into the many high-paying career opportunities that are available,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “But too few current and future workers are ever even exposed to construction as a career choice, undermining interest in an industry that everyone sees but too few appreciate.”
Last year, the AGC launched the Construction is Essential campaign to help attract new talent to the industry and has previously called on officials to increase investment in career training and education programmes to help employ more workers.