Construction Employment Grows by 19,000 Positions in July - Additional Indicators Point to Potential Economic Weaknesses


August 3, 2018

Contact: Jack Jacobson
202-637- 6820 (w); 202-251- 7644 (c)

Construction Employment Grows by 19,000 Positions in July
Additional Indicators Point to Potential Economic Weaknesses

Washington, DC – The Bureau of Labor Statistics today released the country’s July employment data, revealing a modest drop in the unemployment rate to 3.9% while adding 157,000 positions. The construction industry continued to be a major economic and employment driver, adding 19,000 positions; the majority of construction job growth was in the specialty construction industry.

“While the Construction Employers of America is pleased with this month’s employment data showing specialty construction gains for the fourth month in a row, there are a number of indicators that reveal weakness in the construction market,” said Jack Jacobson, spokesperson for the Construction Employers of America. “Publicly-funded construction has dropped significantly, including a 3.5% reduction in government spending on construction in June, according to the Department of Commerce. Federal investment in infrastructure across the board is critical to the health of the construction industry and the American economy.”

Spending on all U.S. construction projects fell 1.1% in June, including a major drop in government-funded school construction, which fell 11%. Overall, nonresidential construction starts have fallen 5.5% over the same time period last year. Funding reductions have not yet translated into employment losses; in July, nonresidential specialty construction added 8,600 positions.

“The decline in federal and local government construction investment is going to have real ramifications in the construction industry,” continued Jacobson. “Employment in the construction industry cannot continue uninterrupted growth with private sector investments alone. President Trump made infrastructure investment a cornerstone of his campaign. CEA and our members urge the President to work with Congress to enact a major infrastructure package that provides long-term investments in public infrastructure projects.”

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

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