Latest Employment Report Shows Construction Recovery Remains ‘Choppy’

Twenty-seven states reduced the number of construction jobs between May and June, though construction firms in 38 states and the District of Columbia still had more employees this June than in June of 2013.

Associated General Contractors of America officials say the year-over-year employment gains help but that construction employment remains below peak levels in every location except North Dakota.

“The overall trend in construction employment remains favorable, with three-fourths of states adding jobs on a year-over-year basis,” says Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “But the recovery remains choppy, not steady. In June, monthly gains occurred in fewer than half the states and the nation added just 6,000 construction jobs.”

Florida led all states in percentage and total gains in construction employment (11.5 percent, 41,700 jobs) between June 2013 and June 2014. Meanwhile, 12 states shed construction jobs during the past 12 months, with New Jersey losing the highest percent and total (-8.1 percent, -11,200 jobs).

Twenty-one states and D.C. added construction jobs between May and June with Florida (8,800 jobs, 2.2 percent) adding the most jobs and South Dakota (4.3 percent, 900 jobs) seeing the highest percentage increase for the month.

Twenty-seven states lost construction jobs for the month, while construction employment was unchanged in Arizona and New Mexico. California (-9,500 jobs, -1.4 percent) lost the most construction jobs between May and June, and Alaska (-7.7 percent, -1,300 jobs) experienced the highest monthly percentage decline.

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