Think there’s still a depression in Georgia building? Oh, that notion is just so 2011. According to recently revised government data, the state now leads the nation with the lowest unemployment rate in construction.
For the second month in a row.
The jobless rate for construction workers in Georgia is now 4.6 percent, according to a report issued today by Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. based on data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That compares with unemployment rates above 20 percent in 2011 – in Georgia and nationally – which was twice the overall jobless rate. And that distressing number almost certainly underestimated the pain in construction, since so many workers had given up looking, gone back to school or maybe taken jobs at Kohl’s.
Now, the unemployment rate for construction in Georgia is actually lower than the state’s overall rate, which is now 5.4 percent. It’s even below the national unemployment rate of 4.9 percent.
The experts say the improved situation has a lot to do with the building of two huge sports complexes – one each for football and baseball – as well as the rapid erection of apartments, condos and offices (not to mention a few single-family houses.
Right behind Georgia at the top were Texas, Colorado, Virginia and South Carolina.
The crash of oil prices and the bust of oil production in large swaths of the United States has meant large-scale layoffs in some of the oil states, especially North Dakota and Alaska, which ended up as two of the five states with the highest construction unemployment.
Texas is large enough for other forces in the economy to make up for what’s been happening to oil production. The Alaska workforce is a lot smaller and its economy a lot more dependent on oil: the jobless rate in construction was 19.2 percent, said the ABC.