Although construction employment nationally remains below where it was before the Covid-19 outbreak, 31 states, along with the District of Columbia, saw new construction jobs this fall.
According to an analysis of the latest Labor Department job numbers by the Associated General Contractors of America, Texas saw the largest construction employment increase from October to November, with more than 7,500 new jobs.
Pennsylvania was second up with 4,300 new jobs; followed by Utah, with a gain of 3,000 jobs, and Delaware, up by 800 jobs.
While those numbers are hopeful, they still represent an industry trying to climb its way out of a pandemic hole: looking at the seasonally adjusted figures, overall numbers remain lower than they were in February.
Comparing the final month before the Covid-19 outbreak, New York is off by 39,700 jobs, followed by Texas (despite its most recent uptick), seeing an overall construction job decline of 37,200.
Even applying the more promising autumn numbers, construction was still off in California by 5,800 jobs; followed by New Jersey, with a loss of 3,800; and Nevada, recording an October to November decline of 3,700 jobs.
In a statement, Ken Simonson, chief economist with the AGC, said an increase in “project cancellations and postponements is forcing nonresidential contractors to lay off workers as they complete projects started before the pandemic and firms exhaust their Paycheck Protection Program loans.”
Simon added that until help from Washington becomes a reality, the industry is likely to see more job losses in the months to come, “despite strong demand for single-family and remodeling.”
By Garry Boulard
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