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Construction Employment Increases In 33 States From December To January

Arlington, VA - Forty-four states added construction jobs between January 2018 and January 2019, while 33 states added construction jobs between December and January, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data.

Association officials cautioned that the employment gains may not last without an increase in the number of people trained for construction careers.

“Contractors began 2019 by adding employees in nearly all parts of the country,” stated AGC chief economist Ken Simonson. “These figures are consistent with the optimism contractors expressed about workloads and hiring plans in our association’s recent survey. But finding workers to execute those projects is likely to be an ongoing challenge.”

Nearly four out of five construction firms expect to add employees in 2019, the economist said, based on the 2019 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Survey the association conducted with Sage and released on January 2. At the same time, 78 percent of the survey’s 1,312 respondents said their firm was having a hard time filling positions, and two-thirds of the respondents reported they expect it will as hard or harder to hire workers in 2019.

California added the most construction jobs over the year (28,500 jobs, 3.4 percent), followed by Florida (26,600 jobs, 5.1 percent), Texas (24,700 jobs, 3.4 percent), West Virginia (17,500 jobs, 51.6 percent), New York (16,400 jobs, 4.2 percent) and Arizona (15,800 jobs, 10.3 percent). West Virginia added the highest percentage of construction jobs over 12 months, followed by Nevada (12.9 percent, 11,100 jobs), Connecticut (11.0 percent, 6,300 jobs) and Arizona. Construction employment reached a record high in six states: Colorado, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia.

Six states and the District of Columbia shed construction jobs over the latest 12 months. The largest decline occurred in South Carolina (-3,900 jobs, -3.8 percent), followed by Louisiana (-1,600 jobs, -1.1 percent) and Maine (-1,300 jobs, -4.5 percent). Vermont had the steepest percentage job loss over the 12-month period (-4.6 percent, -700 jobs), followed by Maine, South Carolina and Mississippi (-2.1 percent, -900 jobs).

Among the 33 states with one-month job gains between December and January, North Carolina had the largest pickup (6,200 jobs, 2.8 percent), followed by Illinois (5,800 jobs, 2.6 percent), New York (5,200 jobs, 1.3 percent) and West Virginia (3,900 jobs, 8.4 percent). West Virginia added the highest percentage of construction jobs for the month, followed by Connecticut (3.8 percent, 2,300 jobs), New Hampshire (3.7 percent, 1,000 jobs) and Maine (2.9 percent, 800 jobs).

About The Associated General Contractors Of America

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is a leading association for the construction industry. AGC represents more than 26,000 firms, including over 6,500 of America’s leading general contractors, and over 9,000 specialty-contracting firms. More than 10,500 service providers and suppliers are also associated with AGC, all through a nationwide network of chapters. To learn more, visit www.agc.org.

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