Construction employment rises in 45 US states

By Neil Gerrard27 March 2023

Two construction workers on a construction site, with one pointing at something in the distance. Photo:

Construction employment rose in 45 US states between February 2022 and February 2023.

That’s according to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), which has analysed the latest federal employment data.

The states that added the most jobs were:

  1. Texas (37,900 jobs, up 5%)
  2. New York (20,400 jobs, up 5.3%)
  3. Florida (19,700 jobs, 3.3%)
  4. Nevada (12,100 jobs, 11.8%)
  5. Georgia (11,700 jobs, 5.5%)

The states with the largest percentage increase were:

  1. Rhode Island (12.4%, 2,600 jobs)
  2. Nevada (11.8%, 12,100 jobs)
  3. Montana (9.3%, 3,300 jobs)
  4. Nebraska (8.1, 4,700 jobs)
  5. Utah (7.3%, 9,400 jobs)

The states to lose the most jobs over the 12-month period were:

  1. West Virginia (-2,200 jobs, -6.5%)
  2. Colorado (-1,500 jobs, -0.8%)
  3. South Dakota (-1,200 jobs, -4.6%)

The largest percentage losses occurred in West Virginia, South Dakota, and District of Columbia (-3.2%, -500 jobs).

Meanwhile, construction employment between February 2023 and January 2023 increased in 24 states, held steady in six states, and declined in 20 states. California, Texas, New Jersey and Minnesota added the most jobs over the period. Tennessee experienced the biggest decline in jobs, followed by Iowa and Virginia.

The AGC said that the gains were a sign that demand for construction remains robust. But it warned that labour shortages were holding many companies back.

Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist said, “Unfavourable weather may have held back construction in many states last month compared to January.

“But construction employment continued to expand almost everywhere in February compared to a year ago, despite a slump in homebuilding.”

Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer added, “Infrastructure, the new green economy and semiconductor plants don’t build themselves, they need people.

“If federal officials are so eager to build these kinds of facilities, they should be willing to invest in the people needed to build them.”

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