According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), construction employment hiring increased across the country from the same time last year, but contractors are still fining it hard to fill positions.
The most jobs were added in Illinois and Texas.
“It is good to see construction employment top year-ago levels in more than two-thirds of the nation’s metro areas,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “However, the record number of construction job openings at the end of June and the near-record low for construction unemployment, as well as our own survey, indicate industry employment would have been even higher if there were enough qualified workers.”
According to Simonson, the unemployment rate for jobseekers with construction experience dropped 3.5 percent in July from 6.1 percent a year ago. There were 330,000 job openings in construction at the end of June which is the highest total in 22 years.
Industry officials say work shortages may reduce benefits of federal investments in construction.
“In much of the country demand is beginning to outpace the supply of available workers,” association Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Getting more people into high-paying construction careers will help modernize infrastructure, expand manufacturing and deliver greener, more reliable energy.”