Construction employment increased in 29 states between February and March, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Thirty-eight states also added construction jobs between March 2018 and March 2019. Association officials said widespread gains show that the need for workers remains strong.
Construction employment decreased from February to March in 18 states and D.C., and was unchanged in Maine, Montana, and New Hampshire. Pennsylvania lost the most construction jobs for the month (-1,800 jobs, -0.7 percent), followed by Illinois (-1,600 jobs, -0.7 percent).
“Although construction has added jobs in many states at a higher rate than the private sector as a whole in the past year, the record number of job openings at the end of February shows contractors would add even more workers if they could,” chief economist Ken Simonson said in a press release. “There is no sign of a let-up in the demand for construction workers.”
Texas added the most construction jobs over the year (28,300 jobs, 3.9 percent), followed by California (24,500 jobs, 2.9 percent), and Florida (24,100 jobs, 4.5 percent). West Virginia added the highest percentage of construction jobs over the past 12 months, followed by Nevada (14.2 percent, 12,400 jobs), and Wyoming (11.6 percent, 2,300 jobs). Construction employment reached a record high in New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
The largest job loss took place in Louisiana (-7,900 jobs, -5.2 percent), followed by Illinois (-4,700 jobs, -2.1 percent), and South Carolina (-4,400 jobs, -4.2 percent). Vermont had the steepest percentage loss of construction jobs over the 12-month span (-7.8 percent, -1,200 jobs), followed by Maine (-6.7 percent, -2,000 jobs).
Among the 29 states with one-month construction job gains between February and March, Washington added the largest number and percentage (14,800 jobs, 6.6 percent). Other states included California (9,400 jobs, 1.1 percent), Texas (5,100 jobs, 0.7 percent), and Florida (3,800 jobs, 1.1 percent).