Only 23 States & D.C. Add Construction Jobs from June to July 2016
Thirty-nine states added construction jobs between July 2015 and July 2016 while construction employment only increased in 23 states and the District of Columbia between June and July, according to analysis of Labor Department data released recently by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said construction employment likely declined in many states as firms have growing difficulty locating qualified workers to hire.
“Depending on market segment and geography, many firms report they are having a hard time finding enough workers to keep pace with demand,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer for the association. “While there is slack in key segments like infrastructure and parts of the country that are struggling economically, many of these declines likely have more to do with firms not being able to find workers than not being able to find work.”
Year over Year Analysis
Colorado added 16,100 jobs (10.9 percent) between July 2015 and July 2016. California added the most construction jobs (29,100 jobs, 4.0 percent). Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include Florida (26,400 jobs, 6.1 percent) and Iowa (12,800 jobs, 16.5 percent). Iowa added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year, followed by Hawaii (12.9 percent, 4,500 jobs), Idaho (12.6 percent, 4,800 jobs) and Colorado.
Kansas lost the highest number of construction jobs (-4,400 jobs, -7.3 percent) for the year. Other states that lost jobs for the year include North Dakota (-2,900 jobs, -8.5 percent), Alabama (-2,400 jobs, -3.0 percent), Kentucky (-2,300 jobs, -3.0 percent), Wyoming (-1,700 jobs, -7.5 percent) and Maine (-1,500 jobs, -5.7 percent).
Within the Last Month 2016 Analysis
Texas added the most construction jobs between June and July 2016 (7,800 jobs, 1.1 percent). Colorado added 2,600 job (1.7 percent). Other states adding a high number of construction jobs for the month include Pennsylvania (3,900 jobs, 1.7 percent), Florida (3,100 jobs, 0.7 percent), and Tennessee (2,600 jobs, 2.1 percent).
Construction employment declined in 27 states during the past month and held steady in Alaska. Ohio shed more construction jobs than any other state (-3,600 jobs, -1.7 percent), followed by New Jersey (-3,200 jobs, -2.1 percent), and New York (-2,800 jobs, -0.8 percent).
Association officials said construction firms that work on infrastructure projects or in parts of the country where the economy is not growing are still struggling to find work to keep their teams busy. They added however that firms working in fields like private commercial development in states where the economy remains robust continue to worry about having finding qualified workers. They added that the association will release new workforce shortage data later this month that provides more information about current labor market conditions.
“What is clear from the data is there is not one single labor market for the construction industry,” Stephen E. Sandherr said. “Where demand is strong, labor is tight, and where demand is weak, labor conditions are better.”
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