BMJ Stone
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October 13, 2006 7:55 AM CDT

AGC Jobs Report Shows Strength in Non-residential Construction


"The jobs report for July tells a tale of two construction industries," said Ken Simonson, Chief Economist for The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Simonson was commenting on the August 4 employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that showed little change in overall construction employment for the fifth straight month.

"Seasonally adjusted construction employment edged up by 6,000 jobs in July to 7,503,000," Simonson observed. "But non-residential building and specialty trades employment added nearly 16,000 employees. That was about one out of seven net new hires in the economy, even though these sectors are just 2 percent of total non-farm employment.

"Although the overall employment report showed only modest growth, with a gain of 113,000 jobs, there are still many industries that are generating construction activity," Simonson said. "Manufacturing, energy and power, business and leisure travel, and hospitals are all adding facilities at a high rate that should sustain further growth in construction jobs.

"This jolt of good news is tucked into a report that also shows the slide in residential building and specialty trades employment, which together lost 9,000 jobs for the month," Simonson added. "I expect these categories will continue to hemorrhage jobs once current projects are completed.

"The fifth construction employment category, heavy and civil engineering, shed 1,000 jobs," Simonson pointed out. "But I expect to see further growth in this sector. Architectural and engineering services added 10,000 jobs in July, seasonally adjusted. Employment in engineering and drafting services, a leading indicator for heavy and civil engineering, jumped by a hefty 16,000 from June to July before seasonal adjustment and is up by 35,000, or more than 4 percent, since July 2005."

For more information on the AGC, visit

About the Author

With over 33,000 member firms, AGC of America is the leading association for the construction industry. AGC provides a full range of services satisfying the needs and concerns of its members, thereby improving the quality of construction and protecting the public interest. Learn More at


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