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tor's unemployment rate fell to 7 percent, the lowest rate
for September in years, according to an analysis released by
AGC. Association officials said the construction employment
gains come as more firms report having a hard time finding
enough qualified workers to fill available positions, citing
the lack of local vocational training programs, especially at
the secondary level.
“While we are eager to see even more construction employment gains, there is no denying the fact that the industry has been in recovery mode for much of the past three
years," said Sandherr. "But the industry won't be able to
keep filling positions if there aren't enough qualified workers available."
Construction employment totaled 6,079,000 in Septem-
ber, the highest total since May 2009, with a 12-month gain
of 230,000 jobs or 3. 9 percent, Sandherr noted. Residential
building and specialty trade contractors added a combined
11,800 employees since August and 129,400 ( 5. 9 percent)
over 12 months.
Nonresidential building and specialty trade contractors
hired a net of 3,700 workers for the month and 100,300 ( 2. 7
percent) since September 2013. However, heavy and civil
engineering contractors, which perform the majority of pub-
lic-sector construction, increased their headcount by only 500
in September and 29,000 ( 3. 3 percent) over the year amid
tight government budget conditions.
"Labor shortages happen when a growing industry meets
a stagnant pool of qualified workers," said Sandherr. "It is
time to align our education and training systems with current economic conditions so more young people can benefit
from the rebound in construction demand."