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News May 4, 2018

Construction employment increases in April

Construction employment increased by 17,000 jobs in April following a decrease of 10,000 jobs in March, according to

The construction industry unemployment rate declined by 1.1 percentage points to 6.5 percent, which is slightly higher than the 6.3 percent at the same time in 2017. The national unemployment rate for all industries fell from 4.1 percent to 3.9 percent—the lowest rate since December 2000.

The construction sector has added 257,000 net new jobs during the past 12 months, which is a 3.7 percent increase in the number of workers directly employed by the industry.

"The decline in national unemployment to 3.9 percent offers both positive and negative news," says ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. "The positive news is that the U.S. economy continues to flourish, creating new opportunities for job seekers. This should help support continued consumer spending growth. However, the dip in unemployment also foretells more inflationary pressure and higher interest rates. Higher borrowing costs make it more difficult to efficiently finance construction projects. To the extent that interest rates are likely to rise further, construction activity can be expected to flatten at some point in the middle and long term."


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