In August, estimated not seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rates fell in New Hampshire, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. New Hampshire’s estimated construction unemployment rate dropped by -.1% to land at 2.6%. Vermont’s unemployment rate increased by .3% to rest at 2.5% which is still significantly lower than the national average.
Massachusetts and Maine experienced drops. For the fourth month in a row, the construction unemployment rates for all 50 states were below 10%.These numbers serve an indication that our industry remains strong, especially in the New England market.
The construction industry employed 177,000 more workers nationally compared to August 2018, even as the August 2019 national NSA construction unemployment rate increased from 3.4% to 3.6% over the same period, according to BLS numbers. Although the growth in employment is a positive for the industry, there has been a troubling trend of declining growth in construction employment for close to a year now. August’s increase in year-over-year employment is the smallest increase since December 2016—158,000—which was an anomaly after almost four years of robust increases in construction employment. The slowdown in employment growth may be due to a combination of the shortage of skilled workers and the recent slowdown in construction activity (as of August, year-to-date construction spending was down 2.3% from the same period last year).
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