California and Nevada Have Biggest Job Gains for the Year, Missouri and Iowa Have Largest Declines; Florida Has Largest Monthly Pickup, in Rebound from Hurricane Irma; Nebraska, Louisiana Lag, Maine Ranks 24th in Construction Job Growth
Forty-one states added construction jobs between October 2016 and October 2017, while 26 states added construction jobs between September and October, continuing a pattern of widespread but uneven growth in industry employment, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data released today. The association’s chief economist suggested that recent job gains would have been more widespread if enough qualified workers were available.
“Although construction employment has risen over the past year, many contractors report difficulty finding workers with the right skills,” said chief economist Ken Simonson. “Last month, construction employment increased in only half the states, a total that would probably have been higher if workers were available.”
California added the most construction jobs (44,400 jobs, 5.7 percent) during the past year. Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include Florida (35,600 jobs, 7.4 percent); Texas (17,200 jobs, 2.4 percent); Oregon (10,700 jobs, 11.5 percent); Nevada (10,600 jobs, 13.6 percent) and Washington (10,500 jobs, 5.5 percent). Nevada added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year, followed by Rhode Island (12.0 percent, 2,200 jobs); Oregon; and New Hampshire (9.7 percent, 2,500 jobs). Industry employment reached an all-time high in three states: Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Texas.
Nine states and the District of Columbia shed construction jobs between October 2016 and October 2017. Missouri lost the highest number of construction jobs (-5,800 jobs, -4.8 percent), followed by Iowa (-5,300 jobs, -6.6 percent); Illinois (-3,500 jobs, -1.6 percent) and North Carolina (-3,300 jobs, -1.6 percent). Iowa lost the highest percentage for the year, followed by Missouri; North Dakota (-3.9 percent, -1,300 jobs); Nebraska (-2.1 percent, -1,100 jobs); North Carolina and Illinois.
Among the 26 states that added construction jobs between September and October, Florida added the most (23,800 jobs, 4.8 percent), followed by New York (5,700 jobs, 1.5 percent); Georgia (5,500 jobs, 3.2 percent) and Texas (4,500 jobs, 0.6 percent). Florida also added the highest percentage of construction jobs, followed by Connecticut (3.9 percent, 2,200 jobs); Montana (3.4 percent, 900 jobs); West Virginia (3.3 percent, 1,000 jobs); and Georgia.
Twenty-three states and D.C. lost construction jobs between September and October, while construction employment was unchanged in Kansas. Louisiana lost the most construction jobs for the month (-3,300 jobs, -2.2 percent), followed by Indiana (-2,400 jobs, -1.8 percent); Minnesota (-2,300 jobs, -1.9 percent) and Nebraska (-1,800 jobs, -3.4 percent). Nebraska lost the highest percentage of construction jobs, followed by Alaska (-3.1 percent, -500 jobs) and North Dakota (-2.2 percent, -700 jobs).
“The pickup in construction jobs in Florida and Georgia reflects a rebound from decreases in September, when Hurricane Irma shut down projects and displaced workers,” Simonson commented. “Similarly, the increase in Texas indicates ongoing recovery from Hurricane Harvey, which hit that state in late August. Aside from those three states, there was no net increase in construction employment from September to October, which could indicate how tight the job market is, rather than a drop-off in demand for workers. “