This morning, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported on the employment situation for July. Overall, the U.S. unemployment rate fell from 4.4% in June to 4.3% in July. In the last month, the U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs, which was well above the expected 180,000 new jobs.
The labor force participation rate increased from 62.8% to 62.9% and the employment-to-population ratio also ticked higher, from 60.1% to 60.2%.
Construction employment saw a 1% increase from June to July. Construction jobs increased from 7,103 (in thousands) in June 2017 to 7,157 (in thousands) in July 2017. Another positive note: construction employment is up 3% from last year.
While construction employment saw only a slight gain, employment in the industry increased in 264 out of 358 metro areas between June 2016 and June 2017, according to the Associated General Contractors organization. 57 metro areas showed declining employment in the construction industry, while 37 metro areas showed stagnated growth.
Ken Simonson, Associated General Contractor’s chief economist noted that “Western metro areas, from southern California and Nevada to Oregon and Washington, logged many of the largest absolute and percentage increases in construction employment in the past year. In contrast, the metros with the largest job losses were all in the middle or eastern portions of the country.”