Economy Watch: Construction Employment Up in Most States

Construction is one industry that doesn't seem to be concerned about the possibility of a recession, at least in most parts of the country.
Map courtesy of AGC of America
State Employment Map by Percent Change courtesy of The Associated General Contractors of America

Recession worries? The construction industry doesn’t seem to be feeling it, at least in most parts of the country. The Associated General Contractors of America reported recently that 43 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between February 2015 and this February, while construction employment increased in 27 states between January and February 2016.

California added the most construction jobs: 53,800 new positions, or up 7.6 percent year-over-year. Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs in the past 12 months include Florida (25,800 jobs, up 6.2 percent), New York (19,100 jobs, up 5.5 percent) and Massachusetts (14,600 jobs, up 11 percent).

Few major markets lost many construction jobs, the report said. Unsurprisingly, considering the energy slump, North Dakota lost the highest percent and total number of construction jobs (down 14.5 percent, with a lost of 5,300 jobs). Other states that lost jobs for the year include Alaska, Wyoming, West Virginia and Kansas.

Association officials said the new hiring figures show contractors continue to be able to find and hire new workers despite widespread reports of labor shortages. But they warned that labor shortages may undermine overall employment levels in the sector in the near future.