WASHINGTON, April 3—Estimated February not seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rates fell nationally and in 46 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 February 2019 national NSA construction unemployment rate fell 1.6 percent from a year ago to 6.2 percent, the construction industry employed 222,000 more workers nationally compared to February 2018, according to BLS numbers.
“The strength of the February construction employment numbers continued to reflect the strength of construction throughout much of the country,” said Bernard M. Markstein, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “Unemployment rates in February were lower compared to a year ago in 46 states, unchanged in one—Hawaii—and higher in three—Idaho, Kansas and Louisiana. At the same time, the country and 30 of the states posted their lowest February 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 fell 0.2 percent from January to February. In years past, a monthly decline has only occurred about a third of the time since the report first began in 2000 (six out of the previous 19 years). Among the states, 28 posted lower estimated construction unemployment rates this year from January, two had no change (Missouri and Oregon) and 20 were higher.
The Top Five States
The states with the lowest estimated NSA construction unemployment rates in order from lowest to highest were:
1. Florida, 3.4 percent
2. Utah, 3.6 percent