Construction employment stalled in June as more former construction workers left the industry, according to an analysis of new federal data released by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).
The lack of current job openings, along with the departure of experienced workers, suggests a potential skilled-labor shortage may be developing, construction association officials warned.
The unemployment rate for former construction workers fell to 12.8%, the lowest June rate since 2008 and much better than the 15.6% rate in June 2011 or the 20.1% rate in June 2010, the AGC reports. Over the past two years nearly 750,000 experienced workers have either found jobs in other industries, returned to school, retired or otherwise left the workforce.
There was little difference among construction segments in terms of recent job gains or losses. Residential construction added 1,700 total jobs in June and 8,900 (0.4%) over 12 months. Nonresidential construction firms lost 600 jobs in June but added 4,300 (0.1%) over 12 months.
Nonresidential job gains for the year were concentrated among nonresidential building contractors, which lost 1,000 jobs in the latest month but added 4,300 (0.7%) over 12 months. Heavy and civil engineering construction firms shed 2,000 jobs in June and 1,800 (-0.2%) in the past year. Nonresidential specialty trade contractors boosted employment by 2,400 since May but only 1,800 (0.1%) since June 2012.