Sheet metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

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Specialty construction employment is growing

Mar 7, 2017

January’s national employment data revealed strong employment numbers in the construction and the specialty construction industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Construction employment continued to grow, posting an increase of 36,000 jobs in January, while specialty trade contractor jobs rose by 11,000. The national unemployment rate remains low, at 4.8%.

“The Construction Employers of America is encouraged by the strong job gains among the specialty construction trades,” said Jack Jacobson, spokesperson for CEA, of which SMACNA is a part. “Specialty union contractors are investing in domestic workforce training and apprenticeship programs to ensure our industry is prepared when employment growth occurs in specialty construction.”

Over the last 12 months, the construction industry added 170,000 jobs, a significant increase after a prolonged slump following the 2008 recession. The more unionized, highly skilled specialty trade contractors continued to dominate construction employment, representing nearly 64 percent of the construction industry, totaling some 4.3 million jobs.

Employment among specialty trade contractors was up 3 percent over January 2016.

“The job growth in January, coupled with a major national infrastructure investment plan under consideration by Congress, make us optimistic that additional growth will occur in the specialty trade construction industry over the coming years,” continued Mr. Jacobson. “We urge Congress and the Administration to seize the bipartisan opportunity across the country to invest in infrastructure and rebuild America.”

The CEA is made up of seven specialty construction organizations including SMACNA, and represents more than 15,000 employers and 1.4 million employees nationwide. Find more information at Construction Employers of America.