Construction firms added jobs in 40 states and the District of Columbia over the past 12 months and in 30 states and D.C. between April and May, according to a recent analysis of Labor Dept. data by the Associated General Contractors of America. 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 (9.8%, 35,300 jobs), Minnesota (9.7%, 9,700 jobs) and Kansas (8.9%, 5,000 jobs). California added the most new construction jobs for the year (37,700 jobs, 5.9%), followed by Florida, Texas (26,500 jobs, 4.3%) and New York (12,000 jobs, 3.7%).
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 (-6.2%, -8,500 jobs), Montana (-5.7%, -1,400 jobs) and New Mexico (-5.0%, -2,100 jobs). New Jersey lost the most construction jobs between May 2013 and May 2014, followed by Arizona (-4,100 jobs, -3.3%), Virginia (-2,800 jobs, -1.6%) and West Virginia.
Minnesota (3,800 jobs, 3.6%) added the most jobs between April and May, followed by New York (3,000 jobs, 0.9%), Colorado (2,800 jobs, 2.1%) and Pennsylvania (2,200 jobs, 0.9%). Wyoming (4.1%, 900 jobs) had the highest percentage increase for the month, followed by Minnesota, Vermont (3.6%, 500 jobs) and Kansas (3.2%, 1,900 jobs).
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 (-4,400 jobs, -3.6%), Ohio (-3,600 jobs, -1.9%) and Missouri (-3,500 jobs, -3.2%). Arizona experienced the highest monthly percentage decline, followed by Missouri, New Hampshire (-2.7%, -600 jobs) and West Virginia (-2.4%, -800 jobs).