Employment rises for U.S. construction workers
The number of U.S. construction jobs rose by 290,000 last year, the highest number since 2005, according to the Arlington-based Associated General Contractors of America.
Association officials said many construction companies are hiring to keep pace with growing demand but are having a hard time finding qualified workers to fill key positions.
“Construction firms are clearly ramping up their hiring to keep up with swelling demand for construction,” Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist, said in a statement. “Demand for workers to construct apartments, pipelines and huge industrial projects is likely to remain robust in 2015.”
Construction employers added 48,000 jobs in December as the sector's jobless rate fell to 8.3 percent, the association said.
Total construction employment stood at 6.17 million in December, the highest level since March 2009.
Residential building and specialty trade contractors added a combined 13,500 employees since November and 132,100 (6 percent) over 12 months.
Nonresidential contractors hired a net of 34,400 workers for the month and 158,200 (up 4.3 percent) since December 2013.
The heavy and civil engineering construction segment, which includes pipelines, petrochemical and power plants, and public works construction, added 11,600 jobs in December and 57,900 (6.6 percent) over the year.
The number of workers who said they looked for work in the past month and had last worked in construction fell to 680,000 from 958,000 a year earlier.