Business Briefs

Construction Jobs Are On the Rise

The Orlando metropolitan area recorded 6,200 new construction jobs for the year that ended in May, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. The count rose from 73,300 to 79,500, which represents an 8 percent increase in the region that includes Orlando, Kissimmee and Sanford. Central Florida ranked 59th in the U.S. for construction job increases for the period.

Nationwide, construction employment has reached a 10-year high, AGC records show. However, industry leaders warn that potential labor shortages could pose risks to future growth.

“The construction industry continues to add workers faster than the economy as a whole, and the industry is paying premium wages to attract and retain those workers,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “The employment gains are occurring in both residential and nonresidential construction. However, the industry is having to rely more and more on workers without construction experience, as the pool of unemployed construction workers has nearly evaporated.”

Nationally, earnings in the industry averaged $29.71 an hour in June, an increase of 2.9 percent from a year earlier. That figure is 10.1 percent higher than the average for all nonfarm private-sector jobs, which rose 2.7 percent in the past year to $26.98, Simonson said.

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