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US Construction Industry Gains 19,000 Jobs in September

Stefan Dinse/Alamy Stock Photo Construction site worker pouring concrete.
The Labor Department says 292,000 construction jobs have been created this year, but one industry economist says aggressive hiring could lead to higher interest rates.

Employment in construction continues to trend up in the U.S., according to the latest numbers from the Department of Labor.

Over 19,000 construction jobs nationwide were added in September alone, the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals. That represents an increase from the 11,000 jobs added in August but a decrease from the 21,000 jobs added in July.

According to Associated Builders and Contractors, which analyzes the data from the Department of Labor, industry employment has risen almost 4% year-over-year, which represents a gain of 292,000 jobs.

Also of note in the report were job gains for specialty trade contractors:

Over 18,000 jobs were added in September, according to the data. In total, specialty trade contractors added a net of 114,000 jobs in the past 12 months.

Not everyone in the industry believes the latest numbers showing job growth are a reason to celebrate.

“Despite elevated compensation costs, employers continue to hire aggressively,” said Anirban Basu, the chief economist for Associated Builders and Contractors, in a statement. “Not only does that help support additional inflationary pressure, but it also sends a signal to Federal Reserve policymakers that further aggressive rate tightening is necessary.”

Basu said that if rates were to rise dramatically “the recovery in nonresidential activity would likely buckle.”

But, he added, “Most contractors remain upbeat regarding near-term prospects.

“Backlog remains stable, and many contractors expect rising sales, employment and profit margins over the next six months. Many contractors also continue to report operating at capacity. Their primary issue is not insufficient demand for construction services, but rather a lack of access to skilled craft professionals.”

Hurricane Ian, which hit Florida and parts of the South at the end of last month, had no discernible effect on construction employment and unemployment data for September, the Labor Department said, because data was collected before the hurricane made landfall.

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