Thirty-nine states added construction jobs between August 2018 and August 2019, while construction employment increased in 29 states from July to August, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department. Montana was not one of them.
Association officials said that construction workforce shortages may have kept more states from adding construction jobs this past month.
“Even more states probably would have posted gains in construction employment if firms could find enough people to hire,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “They are finding most craft positions hard to fill, even though average pay in construction pays is higher than the all-industry average in nearly every state.”
Texas added the most construction jobs over the year (43,900 jobs, 5.9 percent), followed by California (34,300 jobs, 4.0 percent), Florida (20,900 jobs, 3.8 percent), and Arizona (15,400 jobs, 9.7 percent). North Dakota added the highest percentage of construction jobs over 12 months (12.1 percent, 3,100 jobs), followed by Nevada (11.7 percent, 10,500 jobs), Arizona, and New Mexico (9.2 percent, 4,300 jobs). Construction employment reached a record high in Nebraska and Texas.
Ten states shed construction jobs over the latest 12 months, while employment was flat in Mississippi. Louisiana lost the largest number and percentage of construction jobs (-10,100 jobs, -6.6 percent). Other states with large job losses include Ohio (-3,600 jobs, -1.6 percent), Maryland (-1,600 jobs, -1 percent), Vermont (-1,000 jobs, -6.6 percent) and Connecticut (-1,000 jobs, -1.7 percent). Other states with a substantial percentage decline include Vermont, Montana (-2.1 percent, -600 jobs), Connecticut, and Ohio.