Associated Press, May 6, 2018 –

Construction companies added 257,000 jobs in the year-long period running through April, according to seasonally adjusted figures reported Friday.

The Associated General Contractors of America reported that 7.174 million people were employed in construction in April, a number up by 3.7 percent from the same month last year. That put construction employment at its highest level since June 2008.

More than half of the new jobs – 131,700 – were in non-residential construction, including specialty trades and heavy and civil engineering. The remaining 125,500 were in residential construction.

AGC officials said pay increases appear to be attracting more people to the industry. The average wage paid in the industry in April was $29.63 an hour, a number up 3.5 percent from the same month a year before.

The average hourly wage for all nonfarm private-sector jobs was $26.84 in April. AGC officials called on government officials to ensure the country has a steady supply of construction workers by putting money into training.

“”It is time to start showing more of our young adults that high-paying careers in construction should be on the list of professions they consider,” said Stephen Sandherr, AGC chief executive. “Not every student needs to amass a mountain of college debt just to be able to make mediocre wages working in a fluorescent-lit cube farm.”