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NH's Construction Unemployment Spikes in May
 
Published Thursday, June 29, 2017

In May, not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rates were down in 24 states on a year-over-year basis, according to analysis released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). New Hampshire, which had tied with Idaho and Indiana for lowest rate in April based on revised data, dropped to 15th lowest in May, with a 3.8 percent estimated construction unemployment rate. Despite New Hampshire having the country’s largest monthly increase, up 1.2 percent, it was the state’s second lowest May rate since 2004 (3.1 percent), behind last year’s 3.4 percent.

The construction industry employed 192,000 more workers than in May 2016, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the national NSA construction unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, up 0.1 percent from a year ago. Because these industry-specific rates are not seasonally adjusted, national and state-level unemployment rates are best evaluated on a year-over-year basis.

“Despite the year-over-year increase, this was the third lowest national not seasonally adjusted May construction unemployment rate on record and the second lowest rate since May 2000,” says Bernard M. Markstein, president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “Also, as in April, all the states except two, Alaska and New Mexico, had estimated construction unemployment rates below 10 percent.”

Since the beginning of the data series in January 2000, the monthly movement in the national NSA construction unemployment rate from April to May has been a decrease every year, except one—2009. This trend continued in 2017 with a one percent rate drop in the NSA rate from April. Among the states, 39 had declines in their May estimated rate from April, and two (Arkansas and Rhode Island) saw no change.

Top Five States

  1. Vermont, 1.5 percent
  2. Iowa, 2.2 percent
  3. Idaho, 2.3 percent
  4. Colorado, 2.4 percent
  5. Indiana and North Dakota (tied), 2.5 percent

Bottom Five States

  1. Missouri, 7.9 percent
  2. Mississippi, 8.4 percent
  3. Pennsylvania, 9.3 percent
  4. Alaska, 10.5 percent
  5. New Mexico, 10.7 percent

View states ranked by construction unemployment rate, year-over-year change in construction unemployment, monthly change in construction unemployment, a regional breakdown of states construction unemployment rates and unemployment rates for all industries. 

To better understand the basis for calculating unemployment rates and what they measure, see the article Background on State Construction Unemployment Rates.


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