Construction Employment Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels
While the U.S. economy added 431,000 jobs in March, construction industry employment totaled 7.6 million jobs and has returned to its pre-pandemic level of February 2020.
Residential construction increased by 7,600 jobs last month as non-residential construction added 11,300 jobs. Additionally, the overall unemployment rate fell from 3.8% to 3.6%, according to the latest Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Following the latest job additions, residential construction employment now exceeds its level in February 2020, the National Association of Home Builders reported. And about 76% of the non-residential construction jobs lost in March and April of 2002 have been recovered.
Job gains for January and February were revised upward in the latest report with the January estimate revised upward by 23,000 from a gain of 481,000 to an increase of 504,000 and the February increase revised up by 72,000 to 750,000.
In the first quarter of 2022, nearly 1.7 million jobs were created, and monthly employment growth averaged 562,000 per month, the same as the average monthly gain for 2021. As of February 2022, total nonfarm employment is 1.6 million lower than its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.
While unemployment reached a high of 14.7% in April 2020, the labor participation rate for March 2022 increased by just 0.1 percentage point to 62.4%.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 3.6% in March. It was 11.1% lower than its recent high of 14.7% in April 2020. The labor participation rate also increased by 0.1 percentage point to 62.4% higher than the rate in February 2020.
Employment in retail trade increased by 49,000 in March, with gains in general merchandise stores (+20,000) and food and beverage stores (+18,000).