WASHINGTON, D.C.—Estimated January not seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rates dropped in 48 states -- including Tennessee -- on a year-over-year basis, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors.

As the January 2019 national NSA construction unemployment rate fell 0.9 percent from a year ago to 6.4 percent, the construction industry employed 343,000 more workers nationally compared to January 2018, according to BLS numbers.

In Tennessee, the NSA construction unemployment rate for January was 4.8 percent, a decrease of 1.6 percent from January 2018’s rate of 6.4 percent. Tennessee's 4.8 percent 3.7 percent lower than the 8.7 percent mark in January 2017 and the lowest state rate on record for January. Tennessee also compares favorably to neighboring states, such as Alabama (5.8), Georgia (6.0), Kentucky (10.1), Mississippi (9.6), South Carolina (4.7) and North Carolina (5.4).  The lowest state rate is 3.5 percent (South Dakota) and the highest is 15.5 percent (Alaska).  The rate for the U.S. as a whole is 6.4 percent.  Tennessee's  year-over-year change is 11th best among the states.  The Tennessee rate for December was 4.1 percent. 

The national NSA construction unemployment rate rose 1.3 percent from December to January--a monthly increase for this period that has been the pattern since the report first began in 2000. All the states posted higher estimated construction unemployment rates this year from December.

“Despite the government shutdown, the January construction employment numbers continued to be healthy reflecting the strength of construction throughout the country,” said Bernard M. Markstein, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “Unemployment rates in January were lower compared to a year ago in 48 states and higher in two—Hawaii and Colorado. The country and 28 of the states posted their lowest January construction unemployment rates on record.”