Want to know who’s hiring? Construction is one of the hottest industries out there right now, a fact reinforced by the Labor Department’s report on hiring in February. Construction employers added 29,000 jobs in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and has added 321,000 jobs over the last 12 months. Specialty trade contractors were responsible for 27,000 of the hires in February, mostly in residential construction.
The growth lines up with projections from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), which recently published a survey of its members predicting strong growth in 2015.
“Contractors are extremely optimistic about the outlook for 2015,” says Steve Sandherr, AGC’s chief executive officer. “Indeed, if their predictions are true, industry employment could expand this year by the most in a decade.”
Construction employers are struggling to find enough skilled workers, which means wages and benefits are getting better.
“As the supply of qualified construction workers tightens, compensation levels appear to be rising,” says Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist. “Fifty-one percent of firms report they have increased base pay rates to retain construction professionals and 46 percent have done the same to retain skilled craft workers.”
If you learned a skilled trade in the military, this is a great time to get into construction. If you want to learn a skilled trade, you can get your foot in the door as a laborer and learn a trade. There are also training programs that allow service members to train on base while still active duty.
Here are the other hot industries that are hiring right now, based on the BLS report:
- Professional and business services: These employers hired 51,000 in February and have added 660,000 jobs over the past 12 months. Last month’s hires included 7,000 in management and technical consulting services, 5,000 in computer systems design and related services, and 5,000 in architectural and engineering services.
- Health care: Still one of the hottest industries out there, employers in this sector added 24,000 jobs in February after averaging 29,000 new hires per month over the past 12 months.
- Food service and drinking places: Employers here added 59,000 jobs in February, higher than the monthly average of 35,000 over the past 12 months.
- Transportation and warehousing: 19,000 jobs were added in February, higher than the 14,000-per-month average for the last year.
- Manufacturing: Employers in this sector added 8,000 jobs in February and more than 228,000 over the last 12 months.