Construction industry gained 464K jobs in May
Unemployment rate remains high at 12.7%, however.
The construction industry added 464,000 jobs in May, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) released Friday, making it the largest monthly increase in the industry since 1939.
“One way to look at this stunning jobs report is to suggest that economists missed the mark by approximately 10.5 million jobs,” ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said in a statement, discussing the U.S. Labor Department’s May jobs data, which was released on June 5. “Economists polled by Dow Jones had forecasted a decline exceeding 8 million jobs. Instead, the economy added a bit more than 2.5 million jobs.”
Although nonresidential construction saw a 570,000 loss of jobs in April, 237,000 jobs were added in May. The construction unemployment rate fell 3.9% from April to May, to 12.7%. This is still 9.5% higher than the same time period in 2019, however.
“For contractors, this is purely good news,” Basu said in a statement. “With the economy beginning its recovery sooner and more dramatically than anticipated, fewer projects are likely to be postponed or canceled.
“Make no mistake — these remain treacherous times,” Basu said. “Though economic recovery may have begun, there is still the possibility of a resurgence in infections as stores, restaurants and other businesses reopen. Moreover, while unemployment dipped to 13.3% in May, it remains elevated. Labor force participation has been rocked in recent months, and it may be the case that many dislocated workers, including construction workers, will remain out of the labor force for an indefinite period.”
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