The latest construction industry employment data dropped last week. First the good news: 18,000 jobs were added, dropping the industry's unemployment rate to 8.5%, its lowest level in 17 years. Better yet, wages are starting to creep up, which is a sign that employers finally recognize that they need to pay for top talent. Now the bad news: 18,000 new jobs is great, but it actually represents a declining rate of job creation in the industry. The long-term employment needs very high, particularly in craft labor and replacing retiring baby boomers, but the decline in hiring may be another signal that the super hot market for projects is cooling for the near term.
So why do I bring this up? Well, for Sac State CM grads, the last few years have been very good. Our 4 (5?) year streak of 100% employment shows all signs of continuing this year, but the days of multiple high full-time offers simply because you received your degree may be over. Next year's graduates may have to work a little harder, but thankfully they've leveraged the strong job market over the past few years to get great internship experience (and because they're a relatively small class, they won't overwhelming oversupply the job market). But for you younger students, the competition for internships will likely become fiercer, so consider participating on an ASC competition team (if you aren't already), getting an internship sooner than later (maximize the job market in your favor while you still can) and prepare to fight a little harder in the future for internships and full-time jobs. As the Navy SEALs say, "the only easy day was yesterday."
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