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Construction Employment Hits High Mark in April
Total Number of Workers Most in Over Nine Years


Though only 5,000 jobs were added in the construction industry last month, it boosted the amount of workers to the highest in almost a decade.

The Associated General Contractors of America recently reported that April's gain in new construction jobs was enough to lift the industry workforce to the highest level since the beginning of the Great Recession.

The numbers for the month came in at 6,877,000, which is an increase of 173,000 from a year ago, or a gain of 2.6 percent. Residential building and specialty trade contractors totaled 109,300 year-over-year: up 4.2% percent. The nonresidential sector chipped in with an expansion of 1.5% over the last 12 months.

However, in spite of the good news, the numbers could have been even stronger but for a shortage of available qualified workers, according to association officials.

"Many firms would likely have added even more new workers if only they could find enough qualified people to bring on board," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer.

The construction sector unemployment rate now stands at 6.3% compared to 6.0% in April 2016, a fact credited partly to more former construction workers trying to get back into the field.

On another positive note though, average construction hourly earnings grew 2.1% year-over-year, registering $28.55 per hour on average.

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August 23, 2019, 1:46 pm PDT

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