According to Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu, the nonresidential construction sector continued to add construction jobs in January. This sector added 6,000 jobs in January and has added 12,000 jobs over the last year. Nonresidential specialty trade contractors added 10,000 jobs in January and have added 42,000 jobs over the last 12 months.
The private sector may be beginning to expand, but the public sector funds are still lacking. The latest ABC report states that “construction industry unemployment rate jumped to 17.7 percent in January, up from 16 percent the previous month”, so the overall unemployment in construction is still double the unemployment across all sectors in the US economy, which was at 8.3 percent last month.
Construction job growth has been helped by the mild winter that many parts of the country are experiencing. Perhaps the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s brief crossing of the 13,000 threshold today will signal a real recovery for this industry.