Going Up! Construction Jobs Continue to Increase in May 2017

Image of Going Up! Construction Jobs Continue to Increase in May 2017
The availability of jobs in construction continues to increase in May 2017

Opportunities in Construction Jobs Continue to Rise

Over recent years, unemployment and job opportunities have been on the mind of the American working population. As more jobs are being sent to labor forces that are seen as more cost-effective, the US workforce has become a much more competitive place. One industry that does not have a shortage of jobs is construction. The number of construction jobs and the average hours in a workweek for construction workers have increased significantly within the past several months.

The Numbers

The findings, pulled by the Associated General Contractors of America, saw an increase of 11,000 jobs during the month of May. Jobs in the construction industry hit 6,881,000 by end of month. Due to this increase, construction-based employment has reached its highest point since October 2008. Furthermore, there was an increase of 191,000 jobs year over year (an improvement of just under 3%).

Employment opportunities in residential construction rose by 7,100, with a 4.7% increase from 2016. Jobs in nonresidential construction had a slighter increase of 4,400 jobs in May (1.7% year over year).

The Average Construction Workweek

You might be wondering: what does a week working on a construction jobsite look like? Sure, it can be a lot of hard, physically exertive work. However, there are quite a few positive aspects of working in this growing field. The average workweek in the industry is 39.9 hours at this time. This is the highest point it has reached during the month of May since 2006.

In addition, the hourly wage has reached a $28.55 median pay; just over a 2% increase from the previous year. If you’re not much of math fanatic, that’s just above $1,100 a week (before taxes). For comparison, the average hourly rate for a privatized, nonfarm job is $26.22 per hour. Without a doubt, employment within the industry has steadily been gaining perks of its own.

Issues with Labor Shortages

There has been one significant issue within the construction market across the nation: labor shortages. Even within the most lucrative construction markets, there has been a struggle to fill jobs on building projects.

According to construction officials, labor shortages are likely a “result of underinvestment into a career and technical education programs.” These types of programs play an integral role in getting students interested in fields such as construction.

With the availability of jobs within the field, as well as a need for a skilled, adequately trained workforce with experience, should put a bit of pressure on all levels of government to consider providing funding for such programs to encourage workers to seek employment as a construction laborer.

What this Means for the Next Generation

So why should students consider looking into construction jobs when weighing out options for their future? Construction employment can often be just as profitable when compared to a conventional college education. Jobs in the industry have the potential to offer a great deal of upward mobility that a lot of other career opportunities tend to lack. Examples of different types of construction jobs include:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Construction Engineering
  • Construction Foreman
  • Construction Manager
  • Construction Project Manager
  • Construction Solicitor
  • Construction Superintendent
  • Construction Worker
  • Electrician
  • HVAC
  • Project Engineer
  • Plumber
  • Roofing
  • Site Manager

The next step would be to make careers in construction more accessible to students, both in high school and higher levels of education. Avenues that could be taken include training programs and recruitment through job fairs.

The Impact on the Heavy Equipment Rental Industry

As said in a vastly overused adage, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. A rise in construction careers can only mean that there is also a rise in the amount of work being done. Unless the companies completing these projects on their own boom lifts, scissor lifts, telehandlers, or forklifts, they will have rental requests. We can expect to see a positive trend, as well, in heavy equipment rentals.


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