Strong demand for construction projects fueled job growth in November in 38 states compared to October and in all but six states over the past 12 months, according to analysis of Labor Department data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).
AGC officials said, however, that the shortage of available workers was likely keeping firms from expanding headcounts even more rapidly in many parts of the country
Nationally, construction employment climbed by 4.2 percent from November 2014 to November 2015—more than double the rate for total nonfarm employment. Construction spending rose 13 percent in the latest 12 months, suggesting a need for even more workers.
Between November 2014 and November 2015, 44 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs, with California adding the most (+41,000 jobs, +5.9 percent). Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include New York (+30,500 jobs, +8.9 percent), Florida (+29,300 jobs, +7.2 percent) and Colorado (+12,000 jobs, +8.3 percent). Hawaii added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year (+12.5 percent, +3,900 jobs), closely followed by Nevada (+12.3 percent, +7,800 jobs), South Dakota (+12.3 percent, +2,700 jobs), Arkansas (+12 percent, +5,600 jobs) and Idaho (+11.4 percent, +4,200 jobs).
Six states shed construction jobs during the past 12 months. West Virginia lost the highest percentage and total number of construction jobs (-14.5 percent, -4,600 jobs). Other states that lost jobs for the year include Rhode Island (-6.7 percent, -1,100 jobs), North Dakota (-4.4 percent, -1,600 jobs), New Mexico (-0.7 percent, -300 jobs), Pennsylvania (-0.6 percent, -1,500 jobs) and Maine (-0.4 percent, -100 jobs).
Florida added the most construction jobs between October and November (10,600 jobs, 2.5 percent). Other states adding a high number of construction jobs include New York (9,100 jobs, 2.5 percent), Texas (9,000 jobs, 1.3 percent) and Massachusetts (4,800 jobs, 3.6 percent).