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Construction Unemployment Rate Down in February

The February 2018 not seasonally adjusted (NSA) national construction unemployment rate was 7.8 percent, down 1 percent from February 2017 and the lowest national February rate on record, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from the Associated Builders and Contractors. Estimated construction unemployment rates were down in 34 states year-over-year, unchanged in one state (Arizona), and up in 15 states.

The construction industry employed 273,000 more workers in February 2018 compared to February 2017.  

Favorable weather conditions in most of the country contributed to the positive results, although a shortage of skilled construction workers continues to be a drag on construction activity. Recent building materials price increases, particularly for steel and aluminum, “pose an additional, serious threat to future construction activity,” said Bernard M. Markstein, president and chief economist for Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC.

The five states with the lowest NSA construction unemployment rates in February were: Idaho (4.1 percent); Colorado (4.3 percent); Hawaii (4.6 percent); Virginia (4.8 percent); and Louisiana (4.9 percent).

The five states with the highest NSA construction unemployment rates in February were: Pennsylvania (12.6 percent); West Virginia (14 percent); Montana (15 percent); Rhode Island (17.2 percent); and Alaska (25.9 percent).

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