Wisconsin construction unemployment numbers lower than general state unemployment rate

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2022 — Wisconsin’s estimated not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rate in June was 3,2%, down a half percentage point from May and down 3.1% from June 2021, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The 3.2% is actually lower than the 3.5% overall Wisconsin unemployment rate.

Wisconsin’s not seasonally-adjusted construction unemployment rate is 25th among the states. The national rate for June is 3.7%.

Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted national construction unemployment rate plunged 3.8% in June 2022 from June 2021, down from 7.5% to 3.7%. Meanwhile, all 50 states had lower unemployment rates over the same period, according to a state-by-state analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors. Ten states had an estimated construction unemployment rate under 2%; the highest unemployment rate was 6.5% in New Mexico.

NSA chart

In June, national NSA payroll construction employment was 301,000 higher than a year ago and was 46,000 higher than its pre-pandemic peak.

Residential construction employment has fully recovered while nonresidential construction employment remains below its pre-pandemic peak. June SA residential payroll construction employment was 112,000 above its pre-pandemic peak while nonresidential payroll construction employment was 66,000 below its pre-pandemic peak.

The national NSA construction unemployment rate of 3.7% was down 0.3% in June 2022 from its June 2019 reading. Over that same period, 32 states had lower construction unemployment rates and 18 states had higher rates.

“The industry is confronting rising interest rates, slowing national economic growth and the possibility of a recession in the future,” said Bernard Markstein, president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “Further, supply chain disruptions due to the Russia-Ukraine war continue, resulting in more caution in both residential and nonresidential construction. On the plus side, infrastructure construction activity will ramp up over the next several years as funds flow from the federal government from implementation of the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.”

Because these industry-specific rates are not seasonally adjusted, national and state-level unemployment rates are best evaluated on a year-over-year basis. However, due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, month-to-month comparisons are useful.

Find more relevant articles in the Wisconsin Contractor Blog.

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