According to an employment report, released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics on August 4, the construction industry added 6,000 new positions (seasonally adjusted) in July.
The increased employment is mild growth for the industry. Though it marks a three-month job growth streak, July’s gains trail behind the 16,000 new positions reported in June and the 11,000 reported in May. All of which, pales in comparison to the job growth seen in the early months of this year which peaked with 58,000 new jobs in February, the highest level since March 2007.
This growth is largely buoyed by residential construction, which added 7,200 new jobs in July, while the nonresidential sector (including heavy and civil engineering) dropped 1,700. This dynamic played out throughout several subsets of construction. Within building construction, residential work accounted for 5,100 created jobs and nonresidential only 400. Furthermore, specialty trade contractors saw an overall increase of 1,200 jobs—2,100 jobs created in residential work while 900 were lost in nonresidential.
The report also revealed a slight increase in the unemployment rate from 4.5 percent in June to 4.9 percent in July and a variety of employment information that has remained largely unchanged throughout the year, including average weekly hours (39.2), average hourly pay ($28.90) and the percentage of women on the job (12.7 percent.)
Overall, the construction industry employed 6.899 million people in July—191,000 positions or 2.8 percent more than July 2016.