Report: Construction employment up in half of US

In the United States, construction employment has witnessed a significant growth in 39 states compared to the previous year, as stated in an analysis of federal employment data by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Specifically, between May 2023 and May 2024, ten states and the District of Columbia lost jobs, while employment remained unchanged in New Mexico.

In terms of employment growth over the past year, Texas saw the most significant increase with a total of 35,000 jobs added (up 4.3 percent), followed by Florida (27,700 jobs, up 4.4 percent), California (17,000 jobs, up 1.9 percent), and Michigan (15,900 jobs, up 8.4 percent). The state with the largest percentage increase was Alaska (up 20.4 percent, 3,400 jobs).

On the contrary, Maryland had the most significant job loss over the last 12 months with a total of 5,000 jobs lost (down 3.1 percent), followed by Washington (3,900 jobs, down 1.7 percent), Pennsylvania (3,000 jobs, down 1.2 percent), and Colorado (2,300 jobs, down 1.2 percent). The state with the largest percentage loss was Washington, D.C. (down 3.3 percent, 500 jobs).

For the month of May, industry employment increased in 26 states. Conversely, employment declined in 22 states and in Washington, D.C., and it remained unchanged in Rhode Island and North Dakota. Ohio experienced the largest number and percentage of job increases in May (7,000 jobs, up 3 percent). Other states with substantial monthly employment increases were Florida, Texas, and New York.

In contrast, Tennessee had the most significant job loss from April to May (1,700 jobs, down 1.1 percent), followed by Wisconsin (1,500 jobs, down 1.1 percent) and Oklahoma (1,100 jobs, down 1.3 percent). Maine suffered the highest percentage of job losses (down 2.1 percent, 700 jobs).

The AGC has pointed out that while some construction projects are slowing, there is fierce competition for workers in fields like data centers, manufacturing plants, power, and infrastructure projects. The industry’s struggle to secure workers is causing labor-related costs to increase faster than in other industries.

AGC officials emphasize that the federal government underinvests in workforce development programs needed to introduce workers to careers in industries like construction and prepare them for those careers. They urge Congress and the Biden administration to enhance funding for construction education and training programs to combat the shortage of skilled workers.

Related: AGC: Construction spending dips in April

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