Construction employment expanded in 37 states and the District of Columbia between July 2014 and July 2015 while only 28 states and D.C. added jobs between June and July, according to an analysis today of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that the construction industry appears caught between divergent economic trends that help employment in some areas and hurt it in others.
California added more new construction jobs (+48,900 jobs, +7.3 percent) between July 2014 and July 2015 than any other state. Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include Florida (+26,500 jobs, +6.6 percent), Washington (15,300 jobs, 9.6 percent), Texas (+14,400 jobs, +2.2 percent) and Michigan (+12,400 jobs, +8.7 percent). Arkansas (+14.9 percent, +6,800 jobs) added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year, followed by Idaho (+13.7 percent, +4,900 jobs), Nevada (+10.7 percent, +6,800 jobs), Washington and Michigan.
Thirteen states shed construction jobs during the past 12 months, up from only three with construction job decreases a year earlier. West Virginia (-16.0 percent, -5,400 jobs) lost the highest percent of construction jobs. Other states that lost a high percentage of jobs for the year include Rhode Island (-7.9 percent, -1,300 jobs), Ohio (-7.0 percent, -13,800 jobs) and Mississippi (-4.3 percent, -2,100 jobs). The largest job losses occurred in Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana (-5,100 jobs, -4.1 percent) and Mississippi. Construction employment was flat in Vermont. Florida (4,800 jobs, 1.1 percent) added the most construction jobs between June and July. Other states adding a high number of construction jobs include Oklahoma (3,000 jobs, 3.9 percent), California (3,000 jobs, 0.4 percent) and Arizona (2,400 jobs, 1.9 percent). New Mexico (4.9 percent, 2,000 jobs) added the highest percentage of construction jobs during the past month, followed by Oklahoma, Arkansas (3.6 percent, 1,800 jobs) and Oregon (2.9 percent, 2,300 jobs).
Twenty-one states lost construction jobs during the past month while construction employment was unchanged in Virginia. New York (-4,500 jobs, -1.3 percent) shed more construction jobs than any other state, followed by Indiana (-4,400 jobs, -3.6 percent), Ohio (-2,300 jobs, -1.2 percent) and Connecticut (-2,200 jobs, -3.6 percent). Indiana and Connecticut lost the highest percentage of construction jobs between June and July, followed by West Virginia (-2.4 percent, -700 jobs) and Minnesota (-1.8 percent, -2,000 jobs).