ARLINGTON, VA. — Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between September 2018 and September 2019 while construction employment increased in 28 states from August to September, according to analysis by the U.S.-based Associated General Contractors of America of U.S. Labor Department data released Oct. 21.
“Although evidence is mounting that the overall economy is slowing, contractors in most states are still eager to hire,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, in a statement. “But they are unable to find qualified workers in some cases, and job openings in construction have soared as unemployment rates are at historic lows in many states.”
Texas added the most construction jobs over the year (52,000 jobs, up 7.0 per cent), followed by California (30,400 jobs, up 3.5 per cent), Arizona (16,500 jobs, 10.2 per cent), Florida (16,200 jobs, 2.9 per cent) and Nevada (11,100 jobs, 12.3 per cent). Nevada added the highest percentage of construction jobs over 12 months, followed by Arizona, New Mexico (8.7 per cent, 4,100 jobs), New Hampshire (7.8 per cent, 2,100 jobs), Texas and Indiana (7.0 per cent, 9,800 jobs). Construction employment reached a record high in Nebraska, Texas and Washington.
Eleven states shed construction jobs over the latest 12 months. Louisiana lost the largest number and percentage of construction jobs (down 10,600 jobs, a loss of 7.0 per cent). Other states with large job losses include Ohio (down 7,600 jobs, minus 3.4 per cent), Connecticut (down 1,800 jobs, a loss of 3.1 per cent), Tennessee (down 1,300 jobs, minus 1.0 per cent), Massachusetts (losing 1,200 jobs, down 0.8 per cent) and North Carolina (down 1,200 jobs, a loss of 0.5 per cent).
Texas added the most construction jobs between August and September (7,200 jobs, up 0.9 per cent), followed by Arizona (2,200 jobs, 1.3 per cent), Indiana (1,700 jobs), Wisconsin (1,700 jobs, 1.4 per cent).
Association officials said in the release that 80 per cent of construction firms that responded to the association’s recent workforce survey reported having a hard time finding qualified workers to hire.
They urged federal leaders to increase funding for career and technical education and allow more immigrants to legally enter the country.