by Roland Murphy for AZBEX


Construction added 11,000 new jobs in May, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While that puts the overall number at 6,881,000 – its highest point since late 2008 – leading industry groups remain concerned about the state of the labor market, particularly when it comes to overall participation and the availability of skilled workers.

In an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America, Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, noted average weekly hours in the industry rose to 39.9. The average weekly hours are the highest May figure since ABC’s series began in 2006. “Construction firms continued adding new jobs at a faster rate than the broader economy during the past year as demand for their services remains strong,” he said. “Even so, they had to keep employees on the job for more hours because they could not find enough qualified people to hire.”

The shortage of construction industry employment opportunities during and immediately after the Recession, combined with an ongoing under-investment in vocational training, officials said, mean labor shortages are becoming more severe.

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