The harsh winter that plagued most of the first three months of 2014 may have threatened the construction industry, but the latest numbers from year-over-year analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America suggest it wasn’t enough to stall a positive trend in construction employment.
According to the analysis, construction firms added jobs in 38 states over the past 12 months, with Florida again leading all states in both percentage and total construction. Florida saw an 11.5 percent rise, accounting for 41,000 new jobs between March 2013-14 while Oregon and Minnesota also saw increases above 10 percent.
“The widespread gains in employment from a year ago are encouraging, given the tough winter many states experienced right through March,” says Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist.
Construction employment did level off from February to March, with only two dozen states and the District of Columbia seeing an increase in jobs in that span. Ohio led the way with 4,600 added jobs (2.5 percent), though North Dakota recorded the biggest percentage increase at 3.4 (1,100 jobs).
“The never-ending winter of 2014 may account for the dip in the number of states that added construction jobs in the latest month, but it is also possible that single-family homebuilders are not adding workers as some forecasters expected,” says Simonson.
From February to March, Texas lost the most jobs (5,300, 0.8 percent), with New Mexico seeing the largest percentage decrease at 4.2 percent (1,800 jobs).