Skip to Content
View site list

Profile

Economic

Rankings of U.S. State Construction Employment Statistics

Alex Carrick
Rankings of U.S. State Construction Employment Statistics

The tables accompanying this article highlight some of the key statistics on construction employment in 48 U.S. States. The source material from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) omits Delaware, the District of Columbia (D.C.) and Hawaii. The most recent data is for November 2017 and is not seasonally adjusted (NSA).

2018-01-05-US-Construction-Labor-Graphic

Table 1 ranks states by number of construction workers; Table 2 ranks states by year-over-year change in number of construction workers; and Table 3 ranks states by year-over-year percentage change in number of construction workers.

It’s not surprising that the large-population-states also account for the highest numbers of construction workers. The ranking positions 1 through 7 in Table 1 − i.e., California followed by Texas, Florida, N.Y., Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio − exactly correspond with the latest (for July 1, 2017) state population rankings.

Further down the listing, however, there are some significant variances. For example, Georgia is 8th for population, but 11th for construction employment; Michigan is 10th for population, but 13th for construction employment; New Jersey is 11th for population, but 15th for construction employment; Washington is 13th for population, but 9th for construction employment; Maryland is 19th for population, but 12th for construction employment; Colorado is 21st for population, but 14th for construction employment; and Louisiana is 25th for population, but 17th for construction employment.

A main conclusion to be drawn from the above set of numbers is that Washington, Maryland, Colorado and Louisiana are ‘punching above their weight’ in construction employment.

On the flip side, Georgia, Michigan and New Jersey are not holding their own with respect to on-site work relative to residency counts.

Table 1: U.S. States – Construction Employment
November 2017 – Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA)

Rank   State No. of Workers
       
1   California 841,800
2   Texas 733,000
3   Florida 530,800
4   New York 388,300
5   Pennsylvania 253,100
6   Illinois 220,600
7   Ohio 219,200
8   North Carolina 202,800
9   Washington 200,400
10   Virginia 194,200
11   Georgia 181,400
12   Maryland 170,400
13   Michigan 168,800
14   Colorado 162,900
15   New Jersey 160,200
16   Massachusetts 158,500
17   Louisiana 154,800
18   Indiana 142,400
19   Arizona 142,200
20   Minnesota 125,600
21   Tennessee 123,600
22   Missouri 118,000
23   Wisconsin 115,600
24   Oregon 103,800
25   Utah 100,100
26   South Carolina 98,300
27   Alabama 91,500
28   Nevada 90,500
29   Oklahoma 83,400
30   Kentucky 83,300
31   Iowa 77,700
32   Kansas 63,900
33   Connecticut 59,000
34   Arkansas 53,100
35   Nebraska 51,200
36   New Mexico 47,600
37   Idaho 45,300
38   Mississippi 43,900
39   West Virginia 33,900
40   North Dakota 32,000
41   New Hampshire 29,300
42   Maine 29,200
43   Montana 27,900
44   South Dakota 23,600
45   Rhode Island 22,300
46   Wyoming 20,900
47   Vermont 16,100
48   Alaska 15,400
Data source (which does not include Delaware, District of Columbia or Hawaii): U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Table: ConstructConnect.

Table 2 spotlights that California (+44,300) and Florida (+43,700) are almost in a tie for largest numerical gain in construction employment over the past year. Both states are well ahead of third-place Texas (+23,200).

While it’s a further sizable step down to ranking positions four and five in Table 2, Nevada and Pennsylvania should still be pleased with their year-over-year construction jobs gains of +10,200 and +10,100 respectively.

Table 2: U.S. States – Change in Construction Employment
Nov 2017 vs Nov 2016 – Based on NSA Data

Rank   State + / – No. of Workers
       
1   California 44,300
2   Florida 43,700
3   Texas 23,200
4   Nevada 10,200
5   Pennsylvania 10,100
6   New York 9,900
7   Louisiana 9,800
8   Washington 9,500
9   Oregon 9,100
10   Massachusetts 8,900
11   Arizona 8,300
12   Indiana 8,100
13   Maryland 7,100
14   Alabama 6,600
15   Oklahoma 6,400
16   Colorado 6,300
17   Ohio 6,100
18   Minnesota 5,400
19   Virginia 5,200
20   Utah 4,900
21   Tennessee 4,800
22   New Jersey 4,600
23   Kentucky 3,600
24   Michigan 3,300
25   Arkansas 3,000
25   New Mexico 3,000
27   Idaho 2,700
27   Rhode Island 2,700
29   New Hampshire 2,300
29   West Virginia 2,300
31   Kansas 2,100
32   Georgia 2,000
33   Wisconsin 800
34   Maine 700
35   Alaska 600
36   Mississippi 400
36   Vermont 400
38   South Dakota -100
39   Wyoming -200
40   Illinois -300
40   South Carolina -300
42   Connecticut -600
43   Montana -700
44   Nebraska -1,300
45   North Dakota -2,200
46   North Carolina -2,300
47   Iowa -6,900
48   Missouri -7,000
Data source (which does not include Delaware, District of Columbia or Hawaii): U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Table: ConstructConnect.

Table 3 on year-over-year percentage gains in construction employment features, at the top, some states already mentioned – i.e., Nevada in 2nd spot, at +12.7%, and Florida in 4th, at +9.0% − but also several newcomers that have not appeared in the discussions so far.   

Rhode Island has had an outsized jump of +13.8%, but the level of construction in that state remains low (only 22,300). The same can be said for New Hampshire, +8.5%, but relative to a low base (less than 30,000 construction workers).

More impressive have been the results for Oregon, Oklahoma and Alabama, at +9.6%, +8.3% and +7.8% respectively. Those three states have construction employment ranging from 80,000 to 100,000. (Nation-wide, the year-over-year increase in construction jobs in November 2017 was +2.7%.)

Table 3 also reveals those states where there have been year-over-year percentage declines in construction employment. Five (or half) of the ten states with losses are situated in the center of the country – Iowa, -8.2%; North Dakota, -6.4%; Missouri, -5.6%; Nebraska, -2.5%; and South Dakota, -0.4%. (Illinois, at -0.1%, is being assessed as flat.)

From a construction employment standpoint, some of those Midwest states would benefit from a start-up of work on the Keystone XL pipeline expansion. 

As a last point of interest, states generally display seasonality in their construction employment dependent on their locations, north versus south. In northern states, snow and icy conditions from December through March can delay or put a hold on field work and job site opportunities. 

In the south, there can be the extremes of hurricanes and tornadoes, but they don’t arrive with the several-months-long predictability of winter.

There are three southern states that, since 2000, have exhibited virtually no seasonality in construction employment: Arizona, Florida and Nevada.

There have been nine other mainly southern states that have shown little seasonality in the provision of construction jobs: Alabama, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

Table 3: U.S. States – % Change in Construction Employment
Nov 2017 vs Nov 2016 – Based on NSA Data

Rank   State % Change No. of Workers
       
1   Rhode Island 13.8%
2   Nevada 12.7%
3   Oregon 9.6%
4   Florida 9.0%
5   New Hampshire 8.5%
6   Oklahoma 8.3%
7   Alabama 7.8%
8   West Virginia 7.3%
9   Louisiana 6.8%
10   New Mexico 6.7%
11   Idaho 6.3%
12   Arizona 6.2%
13   Arkansas 6.0%
13   Indiana 6.0%
15   Massachusetts 5.9%
16   California 5.6%
17   Utah 5.1%
18   Washington 5.0%
19   Kentucky 4.5%
19   Minnesota 4.5%
21   Maryland 4.3%
22   Pennsylvania 4.2%
23   Alaska 4.1%
24   Colorado 4.0%
24   Tennessee 4.0%
26   Kansas 3.4%
27   Texas 3.3%
28   New Jersey 3.0%
29   Ohio 2.9%
30   Virginia 2.8%
31   New York 2.6%
32   Maine 2.5%
32   Vermont 2.5%
34   Michigan 2.0%
35   Georgia 1.1%
36   Mississippi 0.9%
37   Wisconsin 0.7%
38   Illinois -0.1%
39   South Carolina -0.3%
40   South Dakota -0.4%
41   Wyoming -0.9%
42   Connecticut -1.0%
43   North Carolina -1.1%
44   Montana -2.4%
45   Nebraska -2.5%
46   Missouri -5.6%
47   North Dakota -6.4%
48   Iowa -8.2%
Data source (which does not include Delaware, District of Columbia or Hawaii): U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Table: ConstructConnect.

Recent Comments

comments for this post are closed

You might also like