Construction Employment Rises in 42 States and D.C. Over Last 12 Months

Words: Dan Kamys

According to analysis of Department of Labor data by the Associated General Contractors of America, 42 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between April 2015 and April 2016. Meanwhile, construction employment increased in only 23 states between March and April. The slowdown in monthly job growth, according to the association, was likely due to mild winter weather that allowed firms to start their spring hiring season early, but cautioned that many firms will have a hard time finding qualified workers as demand grows.

The most construction jobs in an area (49,800 jobs, 7.0%) were added in California between April 2015 and April 2016. Other states with a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include Florida (30,100 jobs, 7.1%), Massachusetts (13,900 jobs, 10.2%) and Georgia (13,600 jobs, 8.2%). Hawaii added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year (18.4%, 6,200 jobs), followed by Iowa (13.5%, 10,600 jobs), Massachusetts and Nevada (10.2%, 6,900 jobs).

North Dakota lost the highest percent and total number of construction jobs (-12.9%, -4,600 jobs). Other states that lost jobs for the year include Wyoming (-10.0%, -2,400 jobs), Alaska (-9.7%, -1,800 jobs), Kansas (-5.1%, -3,100 jobs), Kentucky (-1.1%, -800 jobs) and West Virginia (-0.9%, -300 jobs).  Construction employment was unchanged for the year in New Mexico and Mississippi.

California added the most construction jobs between March and April (12,000 jobs, 1.6%). Other states adding a high number of construction jobs include Florida (4,400 jobs, 1.0%), Wisconsin (3,500 jobs, 3.1%), Iowa (3,300 jobs, 3.8%) and Connecticut (2,400 jobs, 4.2%). Idaho added the highest percentage of construction jobs (4.3%, 1,700 jobs) during the past month, followed by Connecticut, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Construction employment declined in 25 states and D.C. during the past month and held steady in Maryland and Vermont. Tennessee shed more construction jobs than any other state (-3,500 jobs, -2.8%), followed by Virginia (-3,000 jobs, -1.6%), Michigan (-2,700 jobs, -1.7%), Kentucky (-2,300 jobs, -3.0%) and New Jersey (-1,800 jobs, -1.2%). Rhode Island lost the highest percentage of construction jobs between March and April (-3.8%, -700 jobs), followed by Montana (-3.3%, -900 jobs), Kentucky, Mississippi (-2.9%, -1,400 jobs) and Tennessee.

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