Construction workers seeking gainful employment may be best served pursuing specialty trade opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its August job report on Friday, which stated there was “little change” in construction employment.
However, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) reports there were 8,200 new hires in specialty trade fields, offering some relief to those still feeling the effects of the 2008 housing bubble burst.
Electrician and plumbers/pipefitters/steamfitters account for more than 600,000 of the specialty trade workers, per the BLS. Both fields have positive growth outlooks for the coming years, with hiring expected to outpace the national average at 23% and 26%, respectively.
Per the AGCA, construction unemployment remains at 11.3% -- well above the national average of 8.1% -- so opportunities in any subsector showing growth are worth considering.
More opportunities could soon surface. The U.S. Commerce Department reporting a 3.6% increase in new home sales last month, and the National Association of Home Builders reports nearly 52,000 new building permits were issued in August. Cultivating those specialty skills could prove critical to securing the jobs those new projects will require.