Specialty Construction Sees Modest Job Growth in October

Tax reform, infrastructure package vital to sustaining growth

Washington, DC – The Bureau of Labor Statistics today released the country’s October employment data, revealing sustained growth in the U.S. job market and a slight reduction  in unemployment. The construction sector added 11,000 positions in October, overwhelmingly in the specialty trade construction sector, which added 10,400 of those construction jobs.

“While this data indicates a very modest increase in specialty trade construction, nonresidential specialty construction employment is down slightly from the same time last year,” said Jack Jacobson, spokesperson for Construction Employers of America. “While this speaks somewhat to increased worker productivity, the needs for nonresidential specialty construction continues to grow, particularly for our outdated infrastructure, and we should be seeing greater job gains here, particularly as we recover from recent natural disasters that have destroyed and damaged infrastructure and buildings in multiple U.S. states and territories.”

Of the 10,400 specialty construction positions created in October, 6,100 positions were in the residential sector, while 4,300 positions were created in nonresidential specialty construction. Year-over-year, nonresidential specialty construction shrunk very modestly from 2,490,200 positions in October 2016 to 2,479,400 positions in October 2017.

“At a time when our roads and bridges need a wholesale overhaul, our municipal buildings and schools are outdated and inefficient, and our electric grid is vulnerable and in need of upgrades, we should be seeing much more growth in high-quality, blue collar specialty construction jobs,” continued Jacobson. “We are encouraged that Congress is moving forward with comprehensive tax reform, which the House of Representatives released yesterday. However, CEA urges Congress to include dedicated infrastructure spending provisions in a final tax reform measure and we will champion provisions to incentivize contractors to invest in their workforce, provide middle class jobs, enhance retirement options and protect health care benefits.”

As soon as tax reform is completed, Congress and the Administration must put a laser focus on passing a major infrastructure package with real dollars in it to rebuild outdated infrastructure and create new infrastructure that will launch a new wave of 21st century jobs and innovation.

CEA’s seven employer associations include FCA International, International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Mechanical Contractors Association of America, National Electrical Contractors Association, Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association, Signatory Wall and Ceiling Contractors Alliance, and The Association of Union Constructors. Our impact on the American economy is significant. We represent over 15,000 employers and 1.4 million employees nationwide. More information about CEA and our issues can be found online at www.constructionemployersofamerica.com.

# # #