Report: 43 states, D.C. add construction jobs during past year

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The Associated General Contractors of America said recently that between February 2015 and February 2016, 43 states and Washington, D.C., saw new construction jobs created.

Additionally, 27 states saw an increase in construction jobs in February 2016 compared with the previous month.

“In most of the country, construction continues to outpace other industries in adding jobs,” Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, said. “Contractors remain upbeat about demand for many types of projects, but they are having difficulty finding enough qualified workers.”

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that from February 2015 to February 2016, the state that added the most construction jobs was California, followed by (in order) Florida, New York and Massachusetts. The highest percentage of new construction jobs for that time period was posted by Hawaii, followed by (in order) Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The most significant number of construction jobs lost for the period was seen in North Dakota, followed by (in order) Alaska, Wyoming, West Virginia, Kansas, Mississippi and Pennsylvania.

“The states with the steepest declines in construction jobs during the past 12 months have been hurt by the pullback in oil and gas drilling, coal mining and farm income,” Simonson said. “A wide variety of influences boosted construction employment in other states, including weather that was more favorable this February than a year ago.”

In the first two months of 2016, the most construction jobs – 12,300 – were added in California. Other states adding a significant number of construction jobs in that period included Washington, New York, Michigan and Minnesota.

The state posting the highest percentage of new construction jobs in the first two months of 2016 was Washington, followed by (in order) Kentucky, Minnesota in Michigan.

The most construction jobs lost in the United States between February 2015 and February 2016 were in Texas, followed by (in order) Louisiana, Illinois, Kansas and Florida. The highest percentage of constructions jobs lost in the first two months of 2016 were in Maine, followed by (in order) Louisiana and Kansas.

“Without additional programs to recruit and prepare new workers, especially at the high school level, firms may not be able to find new workers as demand for their services continues to expand,” Stephen Sandherr, CEO for the Associated General Contractors of America.

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