Construction industry recovered 84K jobs in October
Despite recovery, Associated Builders and Contractors economist warns recession still possible
While the pandemic surges on, the construction industry added 84,000 net new jobs in October, the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) announced Friday. During the past six months, the industry has added 789,000 jobs, recovering 73% of jobs lost during the pandemic.
“It’s hard not to stand up and applaud the U.S. economy’s ability to recover,” ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said in a statement. “Despite political uncertainty, a lingering pandemic, global tumult, and a lack of major new stimulus since April, America’s economy continues to show forward momentum.
In October, nonresidential construction added nearly 60,000 jobs, with increases in nonresidential specialty trade contractors, heavy and civil engineering and nonresidential building.
The construction unemployment rate dropped by 0.3% to 6.8% when compared to September, but is still up by 2.8% when compared to the same time last year when nonresidential construction employed nearly 208,000 more people than it does today, according to ABC.
“Nonresidential construction’s momentum is especially impressive,” Basu said in a statement. “Despite tighter lending conditions, negatively impacted state and local government finances and deteriorating commercial real estate fundamentals, nonresidential construction experienced job creation in each of its three major segments.”
Basu also warns that contractors should remain “on guard,” however.
“Cash management will be particularly important going forward,” Basu said in a statement. “Another recession is possible as COVID-19 rages across the nation, driving up hospitalizations. While household spending will continue to be a source of positive momentum, state-mandated economic lockdowns are likely to become more of a factor during the weeks ahead. That would result in an interruption to the robust recovery that has been building since May, and would delay the arrival of nonresidential construction’s complete recovery.”