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Construction Jobs Rebound In August


Construction jobs were added in half the states in August, while the number of states with year–over–year job gains rose to 10 from just six in July, according to employment data from the Department of Labor

Construction jobs were added in half the states in August, while the number of states with yearñoverñyear job gains rose to 10 from just six in July, according to employment data from the Department of Labor. The number of states that increased construction employment over 12 months was the largest since October 2008.

ìNational construction employment has been flat since March, and more areas have seen an upturn in employment, while job losses in the remaining states are less severe than previously,î says Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America. ìBut the gains may be fleeting unless Congress and the administration enact longñterm infrastructure funding bills before the current stimulus funds are exhausted.î

Simonson says that the largest yearñoverñyear increase was in New Hampshire, where construction employment rose 9.6% (2,100 jobs), followed by Oklahoma's 9.5% (6,300 jobs); Kansas' 8.1% (4,600 jobs); District of Columbia's 3.7% (400 jobs); and Arkansas' 3.5% (1,800 jobs).

The largest percentage job decrease compared with August 2009 was in Nevada at 19.6% (14,700 jobs), followed by Vermont at 14.1% (1,900 jobs); Idaho at 13.1% (4,300 jobs); and Colorado at 12.2% (15,300 jobs). California again lost the most jobs since August 2009 with 44,700 jobs, or 7.6%, and also over the last month, losing 3,900 jobs, a 0.7% decline.

Illinois gained the most jobs in August with 14,200 new jobs, or a 7.7% increase, due in part to the end of a strike. Illinois gains were followed by Rhode Island with 5.6% (900 jobs) and Oklahoma with 3.8% (2,700 jobs). Meanwhile, Alaska had the largest monthly decline, losing 1,100 jobs, or 6.7%, followed by New Mexico at 3.8% (1,700 jobs), and Minnesota at 3% (2,500 jobs).

ìAGC urges Congress and the White House to finish work on longñterm transportation and water infrastructure spending bills, and keep income tax rates from soaring to help the construction industry employment recover from millions of lost jobs,î says Stephen E. Sandherr, the associationís CEO.