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Construction up in 40 states over last year, says AGC

Construction firms added jobs in 40 states and the District of Columbia over the past 12 months, according to AGC. The Associated General Contractors of America also found that construction jobs were added in 30 states and D.C. between April and May.

Association officials said the employment gains help, but that construction employment remains below peak levels in every state and the District of Columbia, except North Dakota.

“With demand for construction growing in most states, many firms are slowly rebuilding their depleted payrolls,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “But if overall economic growth slows, construction employment could backslide in many states.”

Nevada led all states in percentage gains in construction employment (12.5%, 7,000 jobs) between May 2013 and May 2014. Other states adding a high percentage of new construction jobs for the past 12 months included Florida, Minnesota, and Kansas. California added the most new construction jobs for the year (37,700 jobs, 5.9%), followed by Florida, Texas, and New York.

Ten states shed construction jobs during the past twelve months, with West Virginia losing the highest percentage, (-6.8%, -2,200 jobs). Other states that lost a high percentage of jobs include New Jersey, Montana, and New Mexico. New Jersey lost the most construction jobs between May 2013 and May 2014, followed by Arizona, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Minnesota (3,800 jobs, 3.6%) added the most jobs between April and May, followed by New York, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. Wyoming (4.1%, 900 jobs) had the highest percentage increase for the month, followed by Minnesota, Vermont, and Kansas.

Nineteen states lost construction jobs for the month with Florida (-6,100 jobs, -1.5%) losing the most. Other states experiencing large monthly declines in total construction employment included Arizona, Ohio, and Missouri. Arizona experienced the highest monthly percentage decline, followed by Missouri, New Hampshire, and West Virginia.

Association officials emphasized that Washington officials could bring additional security to construction employment levels by passing new legislation to finance highway and transit construction.

“Quickly passing a long-term highway and transit bill will give many construction employers the security they need to begin adding to their payrolls,” Sandherr said.  “It is hard to hire someone if you don’t know what the market conditions will be like next year, or even next month, which is exactly what many highway and transit contractors have to cope with right now.”

View the state employment data by rank.

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