WASHINGTON, D.C. – Estimated October construction unemployment rates fell nationally and in 45 states – including Wisconsin – on a year-over-year basis, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors.

While the October 2018 not seasonally adjusted (NSA) national construction unemployment rate fell 0.9 percent from a year ago to 3.6 percent, the construction industry employed 318,000 more workers nationally compared to October 2017, according to BLS statistics.

In Wisconsin, the NSA construction unemployment rate for October was 3.9 percent, a decline of 1.3 percent from October 2017’s rate of 5.2 percent. Wisconsin was tied with California with the 30th lowest estimated NSA construction unemployment rate nationwide in October.

“Construction activity and hiring of construction workers continued to be healthy in most of the nation,” said Bernard M. Markstein, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “Warmer than normal temperatures in the eastern part of the country, coupled with recovery efforts from Hurricanes Florence and Michael, added to overall construction activity. The result was lower unemployment rates compared to a year ago in 45 states and higher rates in Colorado, Hawaii and South Dakota, with Florida and Kansas unchanged compared to last month. Further, the country and 22 states posted their lowest October 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.

The national NSA construction unemployment rate from September to October fell 0.5 percent. Only four states posted higher estimated construction unemployment rates; 42 states were down from September – including Wisconsin, down 0.5 percent – and four were unchanged.