Every State’s Construction Unemployment Rate Down For March

Construction worker with chisel

The March 2024 not seasonally adjusted (NSA) national construction unemployment rate was 5.4%, down 0.2% from the previous year, according to a state-by-state analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors. The analysis also found that 29 states had lower unemployment rates during the same period, two states were unchanged (New Jersey and Oklahoma) and 19 states were higher.

National NSA payroll construction employment was 275,000 higher than in March 2023. Since February 2022, seasonally adjusted construction employment has exceeded its pre-pandemic peak of 7.6 million. As of March 2024, seasonally adjusted payroll construction employment stood at 8.2 million.

Indicating the relative tightness of the construction employment market in many states, this March, 31 states had lower construction unemployment rates compared to March 2019 (pre-pandemic) and 19 states had higher rates.

“Despite elevated interest rates, construction activity and employment continue at a healthy pace,” said Bernard Markstein, Markstein Advisors president and chief economist, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “Builders are hiring as they seek to replace retiring workers and anticipate winning future work. Nonresidential construction activity and employment continue to benefit from federal funding and tax incentives for manufacturers, and funding for state and local infrastructure projects is strong.”

In March, every state had lower estimated construction unemployment rates than in February. The last time that all 50 states had lower rates than in the previous month was in May 2018.

The five states with the lowest estimated NSA construction unemployment rates for March were:

  1. Maryland, 1%
  2. North Dakota, 1.5%
  3. Utah, 1.7%
  4. Iowa, 2.2%
  5. Georgia, 2.3%

North Dakota, Iowa, and Georgia each posted their lowest March NSA estimated construction unemployment rate on record. Utah notched its second-lowest March rate, behind 2022’s 1.6% rate. Maryland had its second-lowest March rate, behind last year’s 0.8% rate.

The five states with the highest March estimated NSA construction unemployment rates were:

  1. Illinois, 8.6%
  2. New Jersey, 9.3%
  3. Connecticut and Vermont (tie), 10.2%
  4. Rhode Island, 16.2%

Illinois had its second-lowest March NSA estimated construction unemployment rate since 2019’s 5.1%. Meanwhile, New Jersey had its lowest March rate since 2019, matching last year’s 9.3% rate. Despite posting the highest construction unemployment rate, Rhode Island had the largest monthly decline in its rate, down 8.6%. It was followed by Connecticut and Vermont.

As Cleanfax previously reported, construction input prices inched up slightly (0.4%) in March compared to the previous month, with nonresidential construction input prices increased 0.4% for the month.

Cleanfax Staff

Cleanfax provides cleaning and restoration professionals with information designed to help them manage and grow their businesses.

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