Construction Employment Up in 39 States Between April 2015 and 2016

Words: Dan Kamys

June 17, 2016 — According to analysis released today by the Associated General Contractors of America, 39 states added construction jobs between May 2015 and May 2016. Meanwhile, construction employment increased in only 19 states between April and May. Association officials said monthly construction employment levels declined in most states as many firms appear to be running out of workers to hire amid growing labor shortages.

The state adding the most construction jobs (39,600 jobs, 5.5%) between May 2015 and May 2016 was California. Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include Florida (29,400 jobs, 6.9%), Georgia (13,400 jobs, 8.1%) and New York (11,000 jobs, 3.0%). Hawaii added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year (19.7%, 6,700 jobs), followed by Iowa (13.4%, 10,400 jobs), Nevada (10.1%, 6,900 jobs) and Idaho (3,400 jobs, 8.9%).

North Dakota lost the highest percent and total number of construction jobs (-10.5%, -3,700 jobs). Other states that lost jobs for the year include Kansas, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Alabama and Wyoming. New Jersey added the most construction jobs between April and May (2,900 jobs, 1.9%). Other states adding a high number of construction jobs include Florida, Oklahoma, Virginia and Washington. Oklahoma added the highest percentage of construction jobs during the past month, followed by New Jersey, Alaska and Hawaii.

Construction employment declined in 30 states and D.C. during the past month but was steady in Indiana. Texas shed more construction jobs than any other state (-3,400 jobs, -0.5%), followed by Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and California. Vermont lost the highest percentage of construction jobs between April and May (-6.1%, -1,000 jobs), followed by West Virginia, Wisconsin and Missouri.

Association officials noted that 70 percent of firms reported earlier this year they are having a hard time finding qualified workers. And they called on elected officials to reform and increase funding for Career and Technical Education, enact immigration reform and take other steps outlined in the association's Workforce Development Plan.

For complete data and further information, visit AGC of America's website.

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