Employment in the nonresidential construction industry dropped by 4,200 jobs in May after across-the-board jobs gains the previous month, according to the latest data from the U.S. Labor Department as collected by Associated Builders and Contractors.
Since May 2009, the nonresidential building sector has lost 55,400 jobs, or 7.5 percent.
The hardest hit sector was nonresidential specialty trades, where employment fell by 16,500 jobs in May and has dropped by 251,700 jobs - 11.3 percent - in the last 12 months.
The construction report is in contrast with the overall employment numbers; total employment increased by 431,000 jobs in May, with temporary U.S. Census workers accounting for 411,000 of those jobs. The national unemployment rate for May was 9.7 percent.
"A combination of factors, including still tight credit and high commercial vacancy rates, conspired to reverse what had been growing construction employment momentum,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu in a news release. “In addition, the lower unemployment rate for the industry tells us that more people have given up trying to find construction jobs. Meanwhile, the financial markets are responding badly to today's employment release. The data indicates that the nation’s economic recovery remains fragile and has not yet become self sustaining."[[In-content Ad]]