National/International Trends and Hot Topics

AGC Reports on Construction Employment

Arlington, VA – Construction employment was unchanged from March to April as nonresidential contractors and home builders alike struggled to obtain materials and find enough workers, according to an analysis of recent government data by the Associated General Contractors of America.

“Contractors are experiencing unprecedented intensity and range of cost increases, supply-chain disruptions, and worker shortages that have kept firms from increasing their workforces,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist.

Construction employment in April totaled 7,452,000, matching the March total but amounting to 196,000 employees or 2.6% below the most recent peak in February 2020. The number of former construction workers who were unemployed in April, 768,000, dropped by half from a year ago and the sector’s unemployment rate fell from 16.6% in April 2020 to 7.7% in April 2021.

“The fact that employment has stalled, despite strong demand for new homes, remodeling of all types, and selected categories of nonresidential projects, suggests that contractors can’t get either the materials or the workers they need,” Simonson added.

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