Construction Employment Slows in August

Just half of the states in the U.S. added construction jobs between July and August. However, the numbers were a little more promising from a year-over-year standpoint.

Image courtesy of the Associated General Contractors of America.

Image courtesy of the Associated General Contractors of America.

Construction employment rose in 36 states and the District of Columbia between August 2014 and August 2015, but only 25 states added jobs between July and August, according to analysis of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

“While half the states added construction jobs in August, construction spending data and industry reports suggest demand for projects remains very strong,” says Ken Simonson, chief economist for the association. “The apparent softness in hiring likely reflects contractors’ difficulty in finding qualified workers.”

California added the most new construction jobs (43,800 jobs, 6.5 percent) between August 2014 and August 2015, followed by Florida (25,700 jobs, 6.4 percent), North Carolina (13,200 jobs, 7.4 percent) and Washington (12,800 jobs, 8.0 percent). Arkansas (13.6 percent, 6,200 jobs) added the highest percentage of new construction jobs over the year. Other states with high percentages included Idaho (10.0 percent, 3,600 jobs), South Carolina (9.1 percent, 7,500 jobs) and Iowa (8.9 percent, 6,700 jobs).

West Virginia (-15.1 percent, -5,100 jobs) lost the highest percent of construction jobs, followed by Rhode Island (-7.9 percent, -1,300 jobs), Mississippi (-7.4 percent, -3,600 jobs) and Ohio (-5.7 percent, -11,300 jobs). The largest job losses occurred in Ohio, West Virginia, Mississippi and Indiana (-3,600 jobs, -2.9 percent).

Texas (3,200 jobs, 0.5 percent) added the most construction jobs from July to August. Other states adding a high number of construction jobs include Ohio (2,700 jobs, 1.5 percent), North Carolina (2,700 jobs, 1.4 percent) and New York (2,600 jobs, 0.7 percent). Iowa (2.6 percent, 2,100 jobs) added the highest percentage of construction jobs during the past month, followed by Utah (1.6 percent, 1,300 jobs), Georgia (1.5 percent, 2,400 jobs), Hawaii (1.5 percent, 500 jobs), Nebraska (1.5 percent, 700 jobs) and Ohio.

Michigan (-4,700 jobs, -3.0 percent) shed the most construction jobs over the month, followed by Virginia (-3,200 jobs, -1.7 percent), New Mexico (-2,300 jobs, -5.4 percent), Washington (-2,000 jobs, -1.1 percent) and Mississippi (-2,000 jobs, -4.3 percent). New Mexico lost the highest percentage of construction jobs between July and August, followed by Mississippi and Michigan.

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