The Associated General Contractors of America said 44 states added construction jobs between January 2018 and 2019, and 33 states added jobs between December and January. Officials said 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,” said 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.”
California added the most construction jobs over the year (28,500 jobs, 3.4 percent), followed by Florida (26,600 jobs, 5.1 percent), and Texas (24,700 jobs, 3.4 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 Colorado, Nebraska, and New York.
The largest decline in construction jobs over the last 12 months occured in South Carolina (-3,900 jobs, -3.8 percent), Louisiana (-1,600 jobs, -1.1 percent) and Maine (-1,300 jobs, -4.5 percent).
Job gains between December and January picked up most largely in states including North Carolina (6,200 jobs, 2.8 percent), Illinois (5,800 jobs, 2.6 percent), and West Virginia (3,900 jobs, 8.4 percent).