Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

By Lital Shair Nada, market research associate, ARTBA

Highway and bridge contractors added 13,200 workers to their payrolls in August 2017 compared to August 2016, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The severe damage caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma in August and September likely impacted construction sector employment, both due to reduced activity as a result of the storms as well as increased activity due to recovery efforts. But it is not possible to quantify the specific employment effect of these events on the construction industry, the BLS said.

Though this is the highest level of August employment since 2007, jobs in this sector have remained at relatively low levels for the past eight years. August 2017 highway and bridge contractor employment is up 3.6 percent from August 2016, but is still down 2 percent from 2007 pre-recession levels.

General construction employment follows a similar trend. Employment in this sector also increased year over year; in August and September, construction employment rose 2.9 percent compared to August and September 2016. However, construction employment in August and September is still down significantly from 2007 pre-recession levels.

View the full ARTBA labor report.