Barely one-third of states added construction jobs on either a monthly or annual basis in November, as the prospect of a more severe contraction in 2013 keeps hiring down, according to an analysis by the AGC of Labor Department data.
Association officials noted that the threat of the looming fiscal cliff’s spending cuts and tax increases is offsetting slight growth in construction spending and keeping employment levels down. “While construction spending has been rising for over a year, contractors have held down employment levels out of fear that failure in Washington to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ will trigger a recession and cause many projects to be canceled,” said Ken Simonson, AGC's chief economist. “If the nation can get past this unnecessary, self-induced crisis, there should be a strong upswing in construction hiring in 2013.”
Simonson noted that only 20 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between November 2011 and November 2012, while employment shrank in 30 states.