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August Construction Unemployment Rates Down in 49 States Year-over-Year

Estimated August construction unemployment rates fell nationally and in every state except Colorado on a year-over-year basis, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released on Oct. 2 by Associated Builders and Contractors.


The August 2018 not seasonally adjusted national construction unemployment rate fell 1.3 percent from a year ago to 3.4 percent. At the same time, the construction industry employed 287,000 more workers nationally compared to August 2017, according to BLS statistics.


“Continued healthy construction activity across the nation is keeping pressure on the construction labor market, resulting in lower unemployment rates than a year ago,” said Bernard M. Markstein, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “State construction unemployment rates fell on a year-over-year basis in every state but Colorado, whose rate of 2.7 percent was unchanged from a year ago. This was also the second month in a row the national construction NSA unemployment rate fell below the overall national NSA unemployment rate, which has only occurred five times since the national construction unemployment rate data was first recorded in 2000.”


The United States and 33 states posted their lowest August construction unemployment rates on record. It is also the second consecutive month where all 50 states had a construction unemployment rate under 10 percent.


Because these industry-specific rates are not seasonally adjusted, national and state-level unemployment rates are best evaluated on a year-over-year basis. The monthly movement of the rates still provides some information, although extra care must be used in drawing conclusions from these variations


The national NSA construction unemployment rate from July to August was unchanged. Among the estimated state construction unemployment rates, 23 were down, 23 were up and four (Florida, Iowa, North Carolina and Texas) were unchanged from July.

Meanwhile, private NSA construction employment rose in 33 states from July, was unchanged in Nebraska and Nevada and decreased in 15 states. Nationally, NSA private construction employment increased 20,000 from July.

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