Construction Jobs Increase in 40 States


Forty states added construction jobs between November 2016 and November 2017, while 39 states added construction jobs between October and November, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data. Association officials noted that firms in most states are adding jobs amid expectations that demand will continue to grow thanks to new tax cuts and regulatory reforms.

"There were robust construction gains in most parts of the country as the economy continues to expand," said Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer for the association. "Demand should continue to grow as newly enacted tax cuts and regulatory reforms stimulate even more widespread economic growth."

California added the most construction jobs (48,400 jobs, 6.2 percent) during the past year. Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include Florida (41,800 jobs, 8.7 percent); Texas (23,900 jobs, 3.4 percent); New York (12,600 jobs, 3.4 percent) and Pennsylvania (12,000 jobs, 4.6 percent). Nevada (13.8 percent, 10,900 jobs) added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year, followed by Rhode Island (13 percent, 2,400 jobs); New Hampshire (10 percent, 2,600 jobs); Oregon (9.7 percent, 9,100 jobs) and Florida.

Ten states shed construction jobs between November 2016 and November 2017 while construction employment was unchanged in the District of Columbia. Missouri lost the highest number of construction jobs (-6,500 jobs, -5.3 percent), followed by Iowa (-6,100 jobs, -7.5 percent); North Carolina (-3,100 jobs, -1.5 percent) and North Dakota (-1,600 jobs, -4.8 percent). Iowa lost the highest percentage for the year, followed by Missouri; North Dakota; Montana (-3.5 percent, 1,000 jobs) and South Dakota (-1.7 percent, -400 jobs).

Among the 39 states that added construction jobs between October and November, Texas added more than any other state (8,200 jobs, 1.1 percent), followed by Florida (6,200 jobs, 1.2 percent); New York (5,300 jobs, 1.4 percent); Indiana (4,900 jobs, 3.6 percent) and Pennsylvania (3,400 jobs, 1.4 percent). Alaska added the highest percentage of construction jobs for the month (4.5 percent, 700 jobs), followed by Indiana; Nebraska (2.6 percent, 1,300 jobs); Rhode Island (2.5 percent, 500 jobs) and West Virginia (2.5 percent, 800 jobs).

Eleven states lost construction jobs between October and November, while construction employment was unchanged in D.C. Maryland lost the most construction jobs for the month (-1,900 jobs, -1.1 percent), followed by Oklahoma (-1,400 jobs, -1.7 percent) and Connecticut (-1,300 jobs, -2.2 percent). Vermont (-3.2 percent, -500 jobs) lost the highest percentage of construction jobs, followed by Wyoming (-2.9 percent, -600 jobs) and Montana (-2.2 percent, -600 jobs).

Association officials noted that many construction firms have high expectations for the coming year. They said that as they prepare an annual construction industry outlook the association and Sage Construction and Real Estate will release on January 3rd, it is clear many firms expect the administration's efforts to reduce needless regulatory burdens and newly enacted tax cuts will further improve market conditions.

"This is one of the best business climates many firms have experienced in over a decade," Sandherr said. "While Washington needs to address infrastructure funding, workforce shortages and multi-employer retirement reforms, 2018 looks to be a strong year for the industry."