Thirty-four states, along with the District of Columbia, recorded increases in new construction jobs in December of last year over December of 2018, a new analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals.
Texas led the largest of the job-growth states with 55,900 new construction positions, followed by California at 31,300, and Florida, with 25,500 new jobs.
The largest percentage increases were recorded in three states: Maine, New Mexico, and Utah.
Of those three, New Mexico and Maine led the way with an 11 percent increase each, followed by Utah, with an 8.6 percent jump.
Construction job losses were recorded primarily in the Midwest and South, with Ohio shedding around 9,000 jobs between December of 2018 and last December, followed by Louisiana, which lost 7,000 jobs, and Minnesota, off by 3,600 jobs.
An analysis of the new Bureau of Labor Statistics by the Associated General Contractors of America noted that overall, construction employment “consistently expanded in at least two-thirds of the states throughout 2019.”
But, said Ken Simonson, chief economist with the Association, “contractors reported difficulty in finding qualified workers all year long.”
The survey additionally showed a buoyant construction labor market in most of the West, with job increases in the last year ranging anywhere from 1 percent to 10 percent in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.
On average, the big Midwest industrial states of Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois were off by up to 5 percent.
By Garry Boulard
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