Thirty nine states in the US increased their workload between July 2015 and July 2016, while construction employment increased in only 23 states during the same period, according to a report by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC of America).

The Association said the reason for the decline in employment was due to a lack of skilled workers.

Stephen Sandherr, CEO of AGC of America, said, “Depending on market segment and geography, many firms reported they are having a hard time finding enough workers to keep pace with demand.

“While there is slack in key segments like infrastructure and parts of the country that are struggling economically, many of these declines have more to do with firms not being able to find workers than not being able to find work.”

The report states that the highest workload increase was seen in Iowa, rising 16.5%, while Colorado saw an increase of 10.9%.

Kansas, meanwhile, saw the biggest fall in workload by 8.5%, with Wyoming decreasing 7.5%.

According to the report, construction employment declined in 27 states between June and July this year. Delaware saw the biggest fall of 2.3%, while New Jersey fell 2.1%.

Association officials said construction firms that worked on infrastructure projects, or in parts of the country where the economy is not growing, were struggling to find work to keep their employees busy.

They added that firms working in fields like private commercial development in more buoyant states continued to worry about the lack of skilled workers.

“What is clear from the data is there is not one single labour market for the construction industry,” said Sandherr. “Where demand is strong, labour is tight, and where demand is weak, labour conditions are better.”

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