The U.S. Department of Labor reported that total payroll employment increased 4.8 million in June as the overall construction sector added 158,000 jobs after a revised increase of 453,000 in May. The number of residential construction jobs rose by 83,200 in June, after an increase of 224,200 in May.
Residential construction employment now stands at 2.8 million in June, broken down as 795,000 builders and 2.0 million residential specialty trade contractors. The six-month moving average of monthly job changes for residential construction is minus 17,983 a month, mainly reflecting the largest job loss in April. Over the last 12 months, home builders and remodelers shed 83,900 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 834,200 positions.
In June, the unemployment rate for construction workers dropped to 12.0% on a seasonally adjusted basis, from 15.2% in May. The unemployment rate for construction workers has trended downward for the past 10 years and remained at a relative low level in the beginning of 2020. The recent unemployment rate reflected the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on construction industry.
NAHB economist Jing Fu provides more analysis in this Eye on Housing blog post