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Construction Unemployment Rates Down Year Over Year in 45 States

Estimated construction unemployment rates fell in May in 45 states on a year-over-year basis, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics  data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Construction unemployment rose in four states and were unchanged in Alabama.

The May 2018 national construction unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, fell 0.9% from May 2017 to 4.4%, the lowest May rate on record. At the same time, the construction industry employed 291,000 more workers nationally than in May 2017.

“May proved to be an excellent month for construction employment, despite the ongoing shortage of skilled construction workers,” said Bernard Markstein, president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “In addition, contractors are contending with a rise in building materials prices and the likelihood of further increases due to proposed tariffs on many inputs into construction.”

The states with the lowest estimated construction unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) in order from lowest to highest were: Iowa (0.9%), Vermont (1%), South Dakota (1.4%), Maine and Montana (a tie at 1.6%).

The states with the highest construction unemployment rates in order from lowest to highest were: Kentucky (7.6%), Arkansas and West Virginia (7.7%), Mississippi (10.3%) and Alaska (11.1%).

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