Employment in nonresidential construction increases

According to The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), a June 1 payroll employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that nonresidential construction is creating jobs.

Ken Simonson, chief economist for AGC, says though seasonally adjusted total construction employment was down 0.4 percent compared to May 2006, there were differing trends in nonresidential and residential construction.

"During the past 12 months, employment in the three nonresidential categories—nonresidential building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering—climbed 2.4 percent, considerably faster than the 1.4 percent gain in overall nonfarm payroll employment," Simonson says. "That nearly offset the 3.9 percent drop in residential building and specialty trades employment.

"The actual difference is most likely even starker," he continues. "I've been hearing that many subcontractors that formerly concentrated on residential work are now doing commercial construction, but their companies are probably still counted as being in the residential specialty trade industry."

Simonson says the report shows architectural and engineering services firms are hiring workers at a faster pace—their employment rose 3.8 percent during the past 12 months.

"Their output will turn into construction jobs during the next several months," he says.

Date : 6/27/2007