Wisconsin’s Construction Unemployment Remains Lower Than Overall State Rate

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Wisconsin’s estimated non seasonlly adjusted construction unemployment rate in July was 3%, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The rate is 0.2% higher than the record low rate of 2.8% for the month of June and 0.4% higher than July 2018. It is the 15th lowest among the states. For comparison, the overall state unemployment rate is 3.4%.

The construction industry employed 201,000 more workers nationally compared to July 2018, despite a rise in the July 2019 national NSA construction unemployment rate of 0.4%, from 3.4% to 3.8%, according to BLS numbers.

In July, estimated not seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rates rose nationally and in 38 states, fell in eight states and remained unchanged in four 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. For the third consecutive month, all 50 states posted construction unemployment rates less than 10%.

“In July, most of the East experienced above-average temperatures, making outdoor construction more difficult,” said Bernard M. Markstein, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “At the same time, major parts of the Midwest, particularly around the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, had above-average rainfall, which hampered construction. Although 12 straight months of year-over-year declines in the national construction unemployment rate ended in July, overall construction activity and employment remained healthy.”

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 rates still provides some information, although extra care must be used when drawing conclusions from these variations.

The national NSA construction unemployment rate fell 0.2% from June to July. A decline in the rate from June is the normal pattern since the data series began in 2000, with 14 decreases, three increases and two unchanged. Among the states, 25 had lower estimated construction unemployment rates from June; 23 were higher and two were unchanged.

July Wisconsin NSA Construction
Unemployment Since 2004
2004  6.7%
2005 6.2%
2006 7.7%
2007 8.1%
2008 6.6%
2009 14.6%
2010 15.0%
2011 11.7%
2012 12.0%
2013 9.5%
2014 9.5%
2015 5.1%
2016 4.7%
2017 1.9%
2018 2.6%
2019 3.0%
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