Construction Employment increased in 34 states and Washington, D.C. in January, according to analysis of federal data by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).
"These results show that contractors are finding work in more parts of the country than they have for many months," said Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist. "Further gains appear likely but could be derailed if lawmakers continue to make indiscriminate cuts to key construction and infrastructure programs."
Simonson noted that 34 states and D.C. added construction jobs between December and January, while employment slipped in 14 states and held steady in two states. Wyoming had the largest percentage increase (4.6 percent, 1,000 jobs); followed by New York (4.2 percent, 13,000 jobs). New York added the largest number of jobs, probably reflecting recovery work from Hurricane Sandy.
Alaska and South Dakota had no change in construction employment over the month, while 14 states lost jobs, with Arkansas having the steepest percentage drop (-5 percent, -2,300 jobs); followed by Kansas (-4 percent, -2,200 jobs). Arkansas lost the largest number of jobs for the month; followed by Kansas and Pennsylvania (-2,200 jobs, -1 percent).
From January 2012 to January 2013, 24 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs, 25 lost jobs and one—Wisconsin—had no change. D.C. jumped to the top ranking for percentage of new construction jobs (9.4 percent, 1,200 jobs); followed by North Dakota (9 percent, 2,500 jobs); Hawaii (8 percent, 2,300 jobs); Alaska (7.2 percent, 1,200 jobs) and Washington (6 percent, 8,200 jobs). Texas (28,500 jobs, 5 percent) added the most new construction jobs over the past 12 months, followed by California (17,600 jobs, 3.0 percent) and Washington.
Among states losing construction jobs during the past year, Arkansas lost the highest percentage (-10.5 percent, -5,100 jobs), followed by Rhode Island (-8 percent, -1,300 jobs); Montana (-7.2 percent, -1,700 jobs) and South Dakota (-6.4 percent, -1,400 jobs). Illinois lost the most jobs (-9,800 jobs, -5 percent); followed by Virginia (-7,500 jobs, -4.2 percent); Ohio (-5,200 jobs, -2.8 percent) and Arkansas.