BALTIMORE, April 2—Estimated January not seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rates fell nationally and in 48 states on a year-over-year basis, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors.
As the January 2019 national NSA construction unemployment rate fell 0.9 percent from a year ago to 6.4 percent, the construction industry employed 343,000 more workers nationally compared to January 2018, according to BLS numbers.
“Despite the government shutdown, the January construction employment numbers continued to be healthy reflecting the strength of construction throughout the country,” said Bernard M. Markstein, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “Unemployment rates in January were lower compared to a year ago in 48 states and higher in two—Hawaii and Colorado. The country and 28 of the states posted their lowest January construction unemployment rates on record.”
Because these industry-specific rates are not seasonally adjusted, national and state-level unemployment rates are best evaluated on a year-over-year basis. The monthly movement of the rates still provides some information, although extra care must be used in drawing conclusions from these variations.
The national NSA construction unemployment rate rose 1.3 percent from December to January–a monthly increase for this period that has been the pattern since the report first began in 2000. All the states posted higher estimated construction unemployment rates this year from December
The Top Five States
The states with the lowest estimated NSA construction unemployment rates in order from lowest to highest were:
1. South Dakota, 3.5 percent
2. Utah, 3.8 percent
3. Florida and Oregon (tied), 4.1 percent
5. Maryland, 4.4 percent
Four of the top states were in the top five in December: Florida, Maryland, South Dakota and Utah. South Dakota had the lowest construction unemployment rate in January, the same as in December (tied with Florida) based on revised data (originally reported as 13th lowest). It was the state’s lowest estimated January rate on record.
Utah had the second lowest rate in January, up from fifth lowest in December based on revised data (originally reported as second lowest). It was the state’s lowest estimated January rate since 2015, when it was 2.6 percent.
Florida and Oregon tied for the third lowest rate in January. For Florida, this was down from the lowest rate in December (tied with South Dakota) based on revised data (originally reported as ninth lowest). It was the state’s second lowest January rate on record since reaching 4 percent in 2006. For Oregon, this was up from ninth lowest and was the state’s lowest January construction unemployment rate on record.
Maryland had the fifth lowest rate in January. That was down from third lowest in December based on revised data (originally reported as 18th lowest). It was also the state’s second lowest estimated January rate on record since reaching 4.1 percent in 2007.