Construction Jobs down by 15,000 in May  

The Associated Builders and Contractors reported that the construction industry as a whole lost 15,000 jobs last month. This was according to an analysis of Labor Department figures.

The decline was the largest since December 2013, the Association said.

Anirban Basu, ABC’s chief economist, said, “While the construction industry unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since October 2006, the fact that the unemployment rate has shed 3.5 percentage points in two months while losing 20,000 jobs is indicative of a shrinking labor force. This signals the worsening of the industry-wide skilled labor shortage.”

The losses come after April’s employment figures were revised from 1,000 new jobs to a 5,000-job decline for the month. This is the first time the construction industry has lost jobs two months in a row since 2012, ABC said.

The industry has long been aware of the need to recruit young talent to the workforce.

Although these reports are undoubtedly a sign that retirement rates for older employees are increasing. There is also a hope that they could be a result of the mild winter which allowed the industry to clear the project backlog. As new projects arise and the books fill up for the summer season, these numbers may improve.