Construction Employment Increases in Most States as “Fragile” Recovery Continues

May 20th, 2014 by DWM Magazine

While the construction industry’s recovery remains “fragile,” it saw some positive numbers in April, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America Labor Department.

Construction firms added jobs in 39 states and the District of Columbia over the past 12 months and in 29 states and D.C. between March and April. Construction employment levels, however, remained below prior peaks in every state except North Dakota.

“Growing demand for a range of construction services and better weather helped boost construction employment in most states in April,” says Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist. “But we are still a long way away from getting back to the kind of employment levels the industry experienced nearly a decade ago.” Texas (7,500 jobs, 1.2 percent) added the most jobs between March and April, followed by California (7,100 jobs, 1.1 percent). Rhode Island (5.5 percent, 900 jobs) had the highest percentage increase for the month, followed by Iowa (4.6 percent, 3,100 jobs) and the District of Columbia (4.5 percent, 600 jobs).

Twenty states lost construction jobs for the month with Virginia (-3,100 jobs, -1.7 percent) losing the most. Maine (-3.4 percent, -900 jobs) experienced the highest monthly percentage decline. Florida led all states in both percentage and total construction gains from April 2013 to last month with a 12.1 percent increase and 43,300 new jobs. North Dakota was second in percentage of construction jobs added for the past 12 months at 11 percent, which totaled 3,400 jobs.

After Florida, California added the most new construction jobs for the year with 39,000 (6.2 percent), followed by Texas (23,900 jobs, 3.9 percent) and Pennsylvania (9,800 jobs, 4.3 percent). Ten states shed construction jobs during the past 12 months, with New Jersey losing both the highest percentage of jobs (-6.8) and the most jobs total (-9,300).

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