Contractors employed a record high 6.86 million workers in March, adding 71,000 jobs. Unfortunately, few of the jobs added were in nonresidential construction. Nonresidential builders are not yet hiring, but are expected to be adding workers by midyear.
Smaller job gains are expected in the spring. Employment will expand again by summer, with about 50,000 more jobs by year-end.
Contractors added 19,000 jobs in March after five months of steady employment, but all of them were in residential building. The hiring trend is shifting from aggressive to neutral as home starts slow and heavy contractors wait for the resolution of the political impasse on federal highway funding.
Job growth later this year and next year will cause minimal labor supply problems because the pool of available workers will still be much larger than in the late 1990s.