Construction adds 20,000 jobs in July
Construction employment continued to recover in July, adding 20,000 jobs, but the pace of the industry’s rebound slowed markedly from its much stronger jobs gains for May and June (619,000 jobs combined for both months), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Data shows that construction’s July jobless rate improved to 8.9 percent from June’s 10.1 percent but was more than double the year-earlier level of 3.8 percent.
All but one of the construction sectors gained jobs in July, led by residential building, which added 16,300 positions. The specialty trade contractors segment recorded an increase of 11,200. But nonresidential building lost 9,300 jobs during the month. Heavy and civil engineering construction, which includes infrastructure projects, posted a modest increase of 1,800 jobs.
Construction economists see some worrisome signs ahead, including state and local governments’ ailing budgets and project cancellations and postponements as the coronavirus pandemic persists. Construction saw its total employment plunge by slightly more than one million in April due to the pandemic’s impact. The industry bounced back significantly in May, adding 456,000 positions, followed by a gain of 163,000 in June, according to newly revised BLS figures.