Has Construction Employment Plateaued? Only 8,000 Jobs Added in September

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their jobs report for September and the construction industry only added 8,000 jobs.  The construction industry hasn’t seen a big jump in jobs added despite construction spending continuing to increase. August’s numbers were revised up from 3,000 to 5,000 jobs added but when you factor in the construction spending report from yesterday showing the seasonally adjust annual rate hit a seven-year high in August it’s a bit disappointing. Construction employment has grown by only 121,000 jobs so far this year. Over the past 12 months the industry has added 205,000 jobs.


In September, the unemployment rate for the construction industry returned to its July percentage of 5.5% after increasing to 6.1% in August. Heavy and civil engineering construction was the only area to see a decrease, shedding 2,200 jobs in September. Specialty trade contractors, which includes residential and nonresidential, saw the biggest gains with 8,700 jobs added.

ADP, the Human Capital Management firm, which released their numbers on Wednesday, paints a completely different picture. According to their report, the construction industry added 34,000 jobs in September. According to ADP, the construction industry has added 211,000 jobs nine months into 2015 and 300,000 jobs over the last 12 months. They’ve also revised their August numbers up from 17,000 jobs added to 18,000 jobs added.


ADP has total construction employment at 6,495,000 compared to 6,396,000 reported by the BLS. The gap between total construction employment numbers for the BLS and ADP has widened even further to a difference of 99,000 jobs.

The Associated General Contractors reported back in July that 86% of commercial builders are having trouble filling jobs. Based on the numbers from the past several months, it appears that construction employment has plateaued, but so far has not negatively impacted construction spending and growth.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply