The construction industry added another 17,000 jobs in May, according to the latest release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The largest contribution came from specialty trade contractors with 12,300 jobs added. Construction employment has grown by 112,000 jobs during the first 5 months of 2015 and by 273,000 jobs during the last year. Revised numbers for April and March resulted in a larger amount of lost jobs in March, 12,000 lost as opposed to 9,000, and fewer jobs gained in April, 35,000 added as opposed to the initially reported 45,000.
The unemployment rate for the construction industry dropped for the third consecutive month in May, down to 6.7%. This is the lowest it has been since October 2014.
The employment numbers from ADP, the Human Capital Management firm, were released earlier this week. ADP reported a larger number of jobs added than the BLS with 27,000 jobs being added in May. April’s numbers were revised up slightly from 23,000 jobs added to 24,000 and March was revised down from 21,000 to 19,000 jobs added. According to ADP, the construction industry has added 126,000 jobs during the first five months of 2015 and 320,000 jobs over the past year.
ADP has total construction employment at 6,410,000 compared to 6,387,000 reported by the BLS. The difference between total construction employment numbers for the BLS and ADP is 23,000 jobs. The difference in jobs added to the construction industry through May is 14,000.
Five months into 2015 and the ship seems to have been righted for the construction industry after a shaky start. Construction spending topped $1 trillion in April and the industry is adding jobs and unemployment is continuing to decline. Each month continues to get us a little bit closer to those pre-recession numbers when construction employment was well over 7 million jobs.