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Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.7%, Tightening Job Markets

Construction industry adds 23,000 positions in September

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released September’s employment data; the 134,000 jobs added to payrolls nationwide fell far short of expectations. Construction employment growth continued, adding 23,000 positions, primarily in the specialty construction sector.

“This remarkable period of job growth has now stretched to a full eight years,” says Jack Jacobson, spokesperson for Construction Employers of America. “The unemployment rate has once again fallen, constraining the labor market for the construction industry. Simply put, our contractors in many markets are struggling to find adequate numbers of highly trained and skilled trades workers to meet their customers’ needs.”

Total construction employment increased to 7,286,000 positions, including 4,640,800 positions in the specialty construction sector. Of the 23,000 construction jobs added in September, 9,300 were in the non-residential sector. Construction employment has grown for six consecutive months.

“The federal government should take advantage of this remarkable economy by investing in workforce development, modernizing the multiemployer pension system, and cracking down on worker misclassification,” continues Jacobson. “Construction Employers of America’s members continue to fund and operate accredited apprenticeship programs that are the best in the business and which provide pay and benefits to apprentices. With a constrained labor market, these incentives are a critical tool for attracting new talent and retaining skilled construction employees.”

CEA’s seven employer associations include FCA International, International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Mechanical Contractors Association of America, National Electrical Contractors Association, Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association, Signatory Wall and Ceiling Contractors Alliance, and The Association of Union Constructors.

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