Construction Adds 19,000 Jobs In February, Unemployment Climbs to 8.7%

The construction industry added 19,000 jobs in February according to the latest Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released this morning. January’s total was revised down from 18,000 to 15,000 jobs added. The construction industry has added 253,000 jobs over the past 12 months. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 242,000 jobs in February.

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Residential specialty trades contractors had another solid month, adding 13,800 jobs in February. Nonresidential specialty trade contractors didn’t fare as well, shedding 1,500 jobs.  Heavy and civil engineering construction only added 700 jobs. For the construction of buildings, the residential side added 2,100 jobs and the nonresidential side increased by 4,300.

The unemployment rate in construction continues to rise. It went from 8.5% in January to 8.7% in February. The construction industry had 314,000 hires, 145,000 quits and 207,000 openings according to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary from December 2015. These numbers are all seasonally adjusted.

ADP, the Human Capital Management firm, released their jobs report earlier in the week and had construction adding 27,000 jobs in February. January’s number was revised up from 21,000 to 26,000 jobs added and December’s figured was revised up gain from 31,000 to 32,000. ADP has total nonfarm private employment increasing by 214,000 in February.

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The BLS has total construction employment at 6,631,000 and ADP has it slightly lower at 6,596,000 jobs, a difference of about 35,000 jobs.

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