Today’s monthly jobs report from U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics is definitely weaker that most released over the past year. Just 98,000 net new jobs were claimed in March, though the national unemployment rate declined to 4.5 percent.

Construction employment in nonresidential areas added 13,300 jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis, according to analysis from Associated Builders and Contractors, while homebuilders shed 7,600 net jobs.

“Year-over-year total construction employment continued to easily outpace the overall economy,’ says ABC’s chief economist Anirban Basu, “increasing by 2.6 percent from March 2016 compared to the broader nonfarm payroll expansion of 1.5 percent, signifying the industry’s economic health.”

Builders continue to report a shortage of skilled, experience workers and Basu projects that will become even more severe as this year proceeds. “The average contractor can, therefore, anticipate sharer compensation cost increases, particularly as firms that secure new work scramble to put together project teams.”