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Construction employers added 15,000 workers to payrolls in February despite harsh winter working conditions, raising industry employment to the highest level since June 2009, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America.
“The rate of construction hiring has outpaced job growth in the overall economy for the past year,” said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. “During that time, all construction segments have added workers.”
Construction employment totaled 5,941,000 in February, an increase of 152,000 or 2.6 percent from a year earlier. Residential construction employers led the way with the addition of 1,700 workers in February and 101,200 (4.8 percent) over 12 months. Nonresidential construction added 12,700 employees since January and 50,600 (1.4 percent) since February 2013.
The unemployment rate for workers actively looking for jobs and last employed in construction declined from 15.7 percent a year earlier to 12.8 percent last month, the lowest February rate since 2008.