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Wisconsin’s construction unemployment rivals historic lows, says ABC

Construction unemployment fell in 48 states in January from a year prior, and Wisconsin is no exception, according to a review of employment data by the Associated Builders and Contractors of America.

January construction unemployment — not seasonally adjusted — fell 0.9 percent from a year before to 6.4 percent nationally, according to an ABC review of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The construction industry employed 343,000 more workers nationally than in January 2018.

Wisconsin’s construction unemployment rate fell slightly faster than the national average, registering a 1 percent year-over-year drop to 5.8 percent. It was the second-lowest January unemployment rate for Wisconsin’s construction industry since 2004, according to ABC’s review. South Dakota had the lowest construction unemployment rate nationally in January, at 3.5 percent. Illinois and Rhode Island tied for the highest January construction unemployment — 11.5 percent in both states.

“Despite the government shutdown, the January construction employment numbers continued to be healthy reflecting the strength of construction throughout the country,” said Bernard Markstein, president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “Unemployment rates in January were lower compared to a year ago in 48 states and higher in two—Hawaii and Colorado. The country and 28 of the states posted their lowest January construction unemployment rates on record.”

From December to January, the national not seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rate rose 1.3 percent, an increase that fits a pattern since the report first began in 2000, according to ABC. The trade group cautioned, however, that such data is best evaluated on a year-to-year, not monthly basis.

About Nate Beck, nbeck@dailyreporter.com

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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