Forty-one states added construction jobs between October 2016 and October 2017, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. AGC also reports that while 26 states added construction jobs between September and October, there is a continuing a pattern of widespread but uneven growth in industry employment. The association's chief economist suggested that recent job gains would have been more widespread if enough qualified workers were available.
"Although construction employment has risen over the past year, many contractors report difficulty finding workers with the right skills," said chief economist Ken Simonson. "Last month, construction employment increased in only half the states, a total that would probably have been higher if workers were available."
California added the most construction jobs (44,400 jobs, 5.7%) during the past year. Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include Florida, Texas, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington. Nevada added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year, followed by Rhode Island, Oregon, and New Hampshire. Industry employment reached an all-time high in three states: Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Nine states and the District of Columbia shed construction jobs between October 2016 and October 2017. Missouri lost the highest number of construction jobs (-5,800 jobs, -4.8%), followed by Iowa, Illinois, and North Carolina. Iowa lost the highest percentage for the year, followed by Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Illinois.
Among the 26 states that added construction jobs between September and October, Florida added the most (23,800 jobs, 4.8%), followed by New York, Georgia, and Texas. Florida also added the highest percentage of construction jobs, followed by Connecticut, Montana, West Virginia, and Georgia.
Twenty-three states and D.C. lost construction jobs between September and October, while construction employment was unchanged in Kansas. Louisiana lost the most construction jobs for the month (-3,300 jobs, -2.2%), followed by Indiana, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Nebraska lost the highest percentage of construction jobs, followed by Alaska and North Dakota.
"The pickup in construction jobs in Florida and Georgia reflects a rebound from decreases in September, when Hurricane Irma shut down projects and displaced workers," Simonson commented. "Similarly, the increase in Texas indicates ongoing recovery from Hurricane Harvey, which hit that state in late August. Aside from those three states, there was no net increase in construction employment from September to October, which could indicate how tight the job market is, rather than a drop-off in demand for workers. "