Construction unemployment lowest in Colorado

Colorado has the lowest unemployment rate for the sector of any state, according to the latest analysis by a trade group representing the sector.

The Associated Builders and Contractors reported Colorado had the lowest unemployment rate for the sector at 3.9 percent for March. Moreover, Colorado has experienced the largest year-over-year drop in the jobless rate for construction sector at 3.2 percent.

Nationwide, construction unemployment rates improved on a year-over-year basis in March with an estimated addition of 298,000 jobs to payrolls.

The national unadjusted construction employment rate for the country and 30 states were eight-tenths of a percent lower in March than the same month last year, extending the string of consecutive year-over-year declines to 66 months.

“Historically, March has been the changeover month in which construction begins to pick up from the winter doldrums as the weather improves,” said Bernard M. Markstein, president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, which conducted the analysis for ABC. “Since 2000, the March national construction unemployment rate was down from February every year except for two years. However, this past winter was not a normal winter.”

Markstein cited above-normal temperatures over a good part of the season in much of the country as a factor in the 8.7 percent national construction unemployment rate in March, which was unchanged from February. Further, precipitation was above normal in parts of the Southwest and upper Midwest, resulting in record rain and significant flooding in some of these states.

Colorado was followed in the rankings for the states with the lowest unemployment rates for the construction sector by Nebraska at 4.6 percent, Hawaii at 4.9 percent, Georgia at 5.1 percent and Virginia at 5.7 percent.

Alaska reported the highest construction unemployment rate in March at 19 percent with a third straight month of year-over-year increases. West Virginia had the second highest construction jobless rate at 15.5 percent and was followed by Illinois at 14.3 percent, New Mexico at 14.2 percent and North Dakota at 14.1 percent.