The construction industry lost 1,000 jobs in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This ends 14 consecutive months of steady job growth. The last time the construction industry shed jobs was back in December 2013 when it lost 16,000 jobs. With the revised numbers for January (41,000 jobs added) and February (29,000 jobs added) and March basically remaining flat, the construction has added 69,000 jobs in 2015.
With the harsh winter and the Census Bureau reporting earlier this week that the annual rate of construction spending dropped for the second consecutive month in February, it’s not a huge surprise that some jobs were lost in March. The warmer weather is taking over so we should see construction employment pick back up in April.
The unemployment rate for the construction industry finally dropped to 9.5% in March. The unemployment rate had been rising about 1% each month over the past four months.
Total construction employment stands at 6,344,000, according to the BLS.
The employment numbers from ADP, the Human Capital Management firm, were released earlier this week and they are reporting a slightly better scenario for the construction industry. They report that the construction industry added 17,000 jobs in March with February numbers being revised down from 31,000 to 27,000 jobs added. According to ADP, the construction industry has added 76,000 jobs so far in 2015.
ADP has total construction employment at 6,361,000. The difference between total construction employment numbers for the construction industry for the BLS and ADP only 20,000 jobs. The difference in jobs added so far in 2015 is 7,000.