By Corey Runkel, economics intern, ARTBA
The nation’s highway, street, and bridge contractors posted total employment of 381,900 workers in May, a 4.6 percent increase from the same period last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. It marked the eighth consecutive May with job growth and builds on a 2019 record that has finally surpassed the employment losses of the Great Recession.
Employment in the overall construction industry continues to grow year-to-date, but is still about 200,000 workers short of the more than 7.6 million employed 12 years ago.
One possible reason is the labor supply. The labor participation rate, which is the portion of civilians working or actively seeking employment, has plateaued around 63 percent. This 3-percentage-point decrease from 2007 comes as average hours worked remain flat and wages rise, signaling more competition in the labor market.
See ARTBA’s latest monthly employment report.