By Lital Shair Nada, market research associate, ARTBA

Highway and bridge contractors added 7,500 workers to their payrolls in September 2018 compared to September 2017, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an increase of 2.1 percent.  Over half of those new jobs—3,900 positions—were on the job site.

As transportation contractors have been completing more work, this has led to greater demand and employment in related supply industries—stone mining and quarrying (+1.4 percent year on year in September), construction sand and gravel mining (+ 3.7 percent) and ready-mix concrete manufacturing (+ 1.7 percent). Employment by construction machinery manufacturers grew 13.2 percent, an increase of 8,800 workers.

Employment in the overall construction industry also grew, with slight year-over-year declines only in land subdivision and other heavy construction sectors. Construction employment was up 4.4 percent in September 2018 compared to September 2017.

The Nov. 2 BLS report showed that the U.S. economy added 250,000 jobs in October, and the unemployment remained 3.7 percent, a nearly 50-year low. Highway and bridge employment reporting lags a month behind other data in the BLS release, so October transportation construction details are not available until early December.

Read ARTBA’s full report.