GEORGIA: Construction unemployment way down

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Georgia’s construction sector – not long ago among the hardest-hit in the nation – in November had the third-lowest jobless rate among the states, according to Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

Warm weather overall was a factor nationally, said ABC consultant Bernard M. Markstein, chief economist of Markstein Advisors.

But in Georgia – more especially, metro Atlanta – there were a few other factors: mainly construction of the new sports facilities for the local pro teams in football and baseball. But the warmer-than-usual temperatures also allowed developers to keep building homes, apartments and offices.

The result: Georgia’s jobless rate in construction was a near-full employment 4.0 percent in November, according to calculations based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That is down from Georgia construction’s unemployment rate of 4.3 percent in October. And it is less than one-third the Depression-level joblessness of five years ago.

Georgia has about 163,300 construction workers, up from 158,900 a year ago, according to the BLS. It is 27 percent fewer than at the height of the pre-recession building boom.

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Only New Hampshire and Colorado had lower jobless rates in November: respectively 3.7 percent and 3.9 percent, according to the builders’ group. The worst construction markets were Alaska, with an unemployment rate of 14.8 percent, and New Mexico, with a jobless rate 10.8 percent.

Georgia’s overall unemployment rate in November was 5.6 percent, compared to the national rate of 5.0 percent.

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