Construction Employment Rises in 35 States Between September 2015 and 2016

Words: Dan Kamys

24 October 2016 — According to analysis of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America, 35 states added construction jobs between September 2015 and September 2016. Meanwhile, construction employment increased in only 21 states and the District of Columbia between August and September. Association officials said contractors still report difficulty filling construction jobs, and they urged Congress to complete action on a bill that would help more students gain the skills to qualify for good-paying careers in construction.

California added the most construction jobs (30,900 jobs, 4.2%) between September 2015 and September 2016. Other states adding a large number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include Florida, Colorado, Washington and Iowa. Iowa added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year (17.7%), followed by Colorado, Hawaii and Idaho.

The District of Columbia and 15 states shed construction jobs over the year. Kansas lost the highest number (-4,700 jobs, -7.7%), followed by Alabama, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Wyoming. Wyoming lost the highest percentage of jobs (-9.2%), followed by Kansas, Montana, North Dakota and Maine. 

New York added the most construction jobs between August and September (5,100 jobs, 1.4%), followed by California, Texas, North Carolina and Florida. Arizona added the highest percentage of construction jobs during the past month (2.1%, 2,900 jobs), followed by North Carolina and South Dakota.

Construction employment declined in 24 states and held steady in five states. Pennsylvania lost the most construction jobs during the month (-3,400 jobs, -1.4%), followed by Ohio and Utah. Wyoming lost the highest percentage of construction jobs between August and September (-4.1%, -900 jobs), followed by North Dakota and Utah.

Association officials said that it is vital for policy makers to support and expand programs to provide career opportunities in fields such as construction that are short of workers. They urged U.S. Senators to act promptly on a House-passed measure that would boost funding for, and make needed reforms to, career and technical school programs to encourage and prepare more students to pursue high-paying careers in construction.

For the complete analysis or more information on AGC of America, visit

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