Construction Employment Increases in 78% of States
There's been a lot of growth in the construction industry over the last year. Can the industry itself keep up?
According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, between September 2018 to September 2019 construction employment added jobs in 39 states (and the District of Columbia). Texas was the biggest gainer overall, adding 52,000 jobs in what amounts to a 7 percent increase in construction employment.
“Although evidence is mounting that the overall economy is slowing, contractors in most states are still eager to hire,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America.
Here are the other states that round out the top five in construction employment growth over the last year:
- California (30,4000 jobs, 3.5 percent growth)
- Arizona (16,500 jobs, 10.2 percent)
- Florida (16,200 jobs, 2.9 percent)
- Nevada (11,100 jobs, 12.3 percent)
Only eleven states shed construction jobs over that same time period. Louisiana saw the greatest drop off, losing 10,600 jobs.
Job growth in the U.S. construction industry over the last year has been gradual but fairly consistent. In 2019 ten states, including Texas, Nebraska, and Washington, reached the highest number of construction jobs in the state since 1990. This is despite an overall construction labor shortage that industry experts say could stunt the potential for even further expansion.
“Without new measures to develop the construction workforce, our economy will continue to suffer from missed opportunities, said Stephen E. Sandherr, the AGC’s chief executive officer.
In order to meet the growing demand for labor the construction industry will need to work to appeal to a younger generation with less interest in construction as a profession. Still, with job growth steady and construction employment outpacing the broader economy, things are (for now) looking solid and sustainable within the construction industry as a whole.