Construction industry employment (both residential and non-residential) totaled 7.6 million in February. Residential construction gained 31,000 jobs, while non-residential construction added 29,400 jobs for the month. Residential construction employment currently exceeds its level in February 2020, while 73% of non-residential construction jobs lost in March and April have now been recovered.
Job growth accelerated in February with widespread gains across industries, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, health care, and construction. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 678,000 in February, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.8%.
In the first two months of 2022, nearly 1.2 million jobs were created, and monthly employment growth has averaged 580,000 per month. As of February 2022, total nonfarm employment is still 2.1 million lower than its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 3.8% in February. It was 10.9 percentage points lower than its recent high of 14.7% in April 2020 and 0.3 percentage points higher than the rate in February 2020. While the number of persons unemployed decreased to 6.3 million, the number of persons employed increased by 548,000 in February.
In February, the unemployment rate for construction workers declined by 0.5 percentage points to 5.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis. The unemployment rate for construction workers has been trending lower, after reaching 14.2% in April 2020, due to the housing demand impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jing Fu, NAHB director of forecasting and analysis, provides more information in this Eye on Housing post.