Wisconsin’s March construction unemployment lower than same time last year

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2021 — Wisconsin’s estimated not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rate in June was 6.2%, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), which is down 2.9% from June but up 1.0% from May 2021.  This compares with the overall Wisconsin unemployment rate of 4.5% in the same month.

Wisconsin’s non seasonally-adjusted construction unemployment rate is 27th among the states. The national rate is 7.5%.  On a year-over-year basis, the not seasonally adjusted construction unemployment fell in 45 states. Over the past several years, Wisconsin has trended lower than the national rate.

Unemployment ChartNational NSA construction employment was up 233,000 from June 2020. Nonetheless, seasonally adjusted construction employment remained 238,000, or 3.1%, below its February 2020 peak, before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic began to affect the employment numbers. This was better than national SA nonfarm payroll employment, which was 4.4% below its February 2020 peak as of June.

The national NSA construction unemployment rate went from 5.5% in February 2020 to 7.5% in June 2021. During that same period, 21 states had lower estimated NSA construction unemployment rates and 29 had higher rates.

“The strength of the economic recovery will be tested in coming months by the delta variant and as the outflow of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act starts to dry up. Congress is working to address the nation’s long-standing need to repair and upgrade its infrastructure, and a qualified workforce will be necessary to get the infrastructure built. Yet a skilled workforce shortage persists. If a commonsense, bipartisan infrastructure bill is enacted into law, the economy, the construction industry and the construction workforce will benefit,” said Bernard M. Markstein, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC.

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.

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