Employment in the U.S. construction industry rose to its highest point in nearly eight years in September and wages increased by 2.8 percent over what they were a year ago. Construction employers have said they would hire more people if they could find the skilled workers they need.
Construction employment rose to 6.669 million in September, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. That was the most people employed in the industry since December 2008, when the comparable figure was about 6.7 million.
The AGC reported the demand for workers combined with the industry’s long-standing shortage of skilled labor has put upward pressure on wages and salaries. As a result, average hourly earnings in the industry increased by 2.8 percent over the 12 months leading up to September this year, bringing the total to $28.30.
“Demand for construction remains quite strong but contractors continue to struggle to find qualified workers,” said Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist.
The AGC also reported 474,000 people who had been last employed in the construction industry were looking for jobs in September. That was the lowest figure reported for any September in 16 years.