By Lital Shair Nada, market research associate, ARTBA

Highway and bridge contractors added 20,800 workers to their payroll in May 2016 compared to May 2015, a 6.3 percent increase, the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows.

Though this is the highest May employment since 2008, with more than 351,000 jobs, the total is 4 percent below 2007 pre-recession levels. Year-to-date highway and bridge construction employment is 8 percent above the same period in 2015, but 5 percent below pre-recession levels through the first five months of 2007.

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The growing employment of recent years is in line with overall market trends in highway and bridge construction. The value of highway and bridge construction is up 6.7 percent year-to-date, despite a slight dip in May. Construction in this sector has increased by 23 percent compared to 2007.