By Richard Branch, Chief Economist, Dodge Data & Analytics
HAMILTON, NJ - JUNE 4, 2021 -- The U.S. economy added 589,000 new jobs in May, a solid improvement over the 278,000 jobs added in April, and the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 5.8%. Easing of state and local Covid-19 restrictions is helping the economy make steady improvement. Most new jobs came from leisure and hospitality (which added 292,000 jobs), education, and healthcare.
The construction sector, however, shed 20,000 jobs — the second consecutive monthly decline. Employment in building construction grew by 4,900 positions due to gains in single family housing, but specialty trade jobs fell by 19,300 and heavy and civil engineering jobs dropped by 5,500.
The disappointing construction jobs figure stands in stark contrast to the dollar value of projects that Dodge Data & Analytics tracks in the early stages of planning, which are at levels not seen in nearly 13 years. Today’s jobs figure is a reminder that the hope that construction starts will post aggressive growth in the second half of the year must be tempered as scarce and higher prices for construction materials lead to further delays in getting projects underway and completed.
The recovery in the construction sector will be jagged through the remainder of 2021, but confidence is growing that 2022 will bring a healthy pickup in construction activity.
Dodge Data & Analytics is North America’s leading provider of commercial construction project data, market forecasting & analytics services and workflow integration solutions for the construction industry. Building product manufacturers, architects, engineers, contractors, and service providers leverage Dodge to identify and pursue unseen growth opportunities that help them grow their business. On a local, regional or national level, Dodge empowers its customers to better understand their markets, uncover key relationships, seize growth opportunities, and pursue specific sales opportunities with success. The company’s construction project information is the most comprehensive and verified in the industry.
As of April 15th, Dodge Data & Analytics and The Blue Book -- the largest, most active network in the U.S. commercial construction industry -- combined their businesses in a merger. The Blue Book Network delivers three unparalleled databases of companies, projects, and people.
Dodge and The Blue Book offer 10+ billion data elements and 14+ million project and document searches. Together, they provide a unified approach for new business generation, business planning, research, and marketing services users can leverage to find the best partners to complete projects and to engage with customers and prospects to promote projects, products, and services. To learn more, visit: construction.com and thebluebook.com.
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