WASHINGTON – Estimated September construction unemployment rates fell nationally and in 30 states, including Wisconsin, on a year-over-year basis, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors.
The September 2018 not seasonally adjusted (NSA) national construction unemployment rate fell 0.6 percent from a year ago to 4.1 percent. At the same time, the construction industry employed 300,000 more workers nationally compared to September 2017, according to BLS statistics.
In Wisconsin, the NSA construction unemployment rate for September was 4.3 percent, a decline of 0.8 percent from September 2017’s rate of 5.1 percent. Wisconsin was tied with Delaware, Nebraska, New Hampshire and New Mexico for the 25th lowest estimated NSA construction unemployment rate nationwide in September.
From August 2018 to September 2018, the general NSA unemployment rate for Wisconsin fell 0.3 percent to 2.6 percent, but nudged upward slightly in the construction sector from 3.8 percent to 4.3 percent. The national NSA construction unemployment rate from August to September also increased 0.7 percent.
“Despite the devastation from Hurricane Florence, construction activity remained strong in much of the nation, keeping pressure on the construction labor market,” said Bernard M. Markstein, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “The result was lower unemployment rates compared to a year ago in 30 states and higher rates in 16; rates in four states remained unchanged. Further, the country and 20 states posted their lowest September construction unemployment rates on record.”
Because these industry-specific rates are not seasonally adjusted, national and state-level unemployment rates are best evaluated on a year-over-year basis. The monthly movement of the rates still provides some information, although extra care must be used in drawing conclusions from these variations.