Construction Employment Increases in February

Most states added construction jobs from February 2015 to February 2016, according to analysis of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

State_Empl_1602_Map

Graphic courtesy of Associated General Contractors of America.

Forty-three states and the District of Columbia saw a year-over-year increase in employment in the sector, with 27 states adding jobs between January and February.

“In most of the country, construction continues to outpace other industries in adding jobs,” says Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist. “Contractors remain upbeat about demand for many types of projects, but they are having difficulty finding enough qualified workers.”

Simonson noted that job openings spiked in January, according to the latest survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

California added the most construction jobs (53,800 jobs, 7.6 percent) between February 2015 and February 2016. Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include Florida (25,800 jobs, 6.2 percent), New York (19,100 jobs, 5.5 percent) and Massachusetts (14,600 jobs, 11.0 percent). Hawaii added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year (19.1 percent, 6,300 jobs), followed by Rhode Island (14.6 percent, 2,400 jobs), Massachusetts and New Hampshire (10.2 percent, 2,400 jobs).

North Dakota lost the highest percent and total number of construction jobs (-14.5 percent, -5,300 jobs). Other states that lost jobs for the year include Alaska (-8.2 percent, -1,500 jobs), Wyoming (-7.2 percent, -1,700 jobs), West Virginia (-6.9 percent, -2,300 jobs), Kansas (-6.5 percent, -4,000 jobs), Mississippi (-1.7 percent, -800 jobs) and Pennsylvania (-1.4 percent, -3,200 jobs).

California added the most construction jobs between January and February (12,300 jobs, 1.6 percent). Other states adding a high number of construction jobs include Washington (5,500 jobs, 3.1 percent), New York (4,500 jobs, 1.2 percent), Michigan (3,900 jobs, 2.6 percent) and Minnesota (3,200 jobs, 2.7 percent). Washington added the highest percentage of construction jobs during the past month, followed by Kentucky (2.9 percent, 2,200 jobs), Minnesota and Michigan.

Construction employment declined in 21 states and D.C. during the past month and held steady in Rhode Island and Tennessee. Texas shed more construction jobs than any other state (-5,300 jobs, -0.8 percent), followed by Louisiana (-4,700 jobs, -3.2 percent), Illinois (-2,400 jobs, -1.1 percent), Kansas (-1,900 jobs, -3.2 percent) and Florida (-1,800 jobs, -0.4 percent). Maine lost the highest percentage of construction jobs between January and February (-3.6 percent, -1,000 jobs), followed by Louisiana and Kansas.

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