Exactly 42 states saw a varying degree of construction job losses between August and September, according to a new report issued by the Associated General Contractors of America.
That report shows that no region of the country was immune to a decline in construction employment, with California losing nearly 55,000 jobs last month, followed by Texas, with just under 52,000 less jobs.
Even many of the country’s smaller states saw declines, including Iowa, with 11,400 fewer jobs, and Vermont, down by 3,600 jobs.
Out of the small number of states reporting construction job increases, Virginia added 4,300, followed by 3,800 new jobs in Utah, and 2,300 jobs in South Dakota.
Although some states have seen job construction increases since the pandemic economic shutdown in March, the overall trend, according to the report, has been on the down side.
In a statement exploring the report, Ken Simonson, chief economist of the AGC, pointed to new spikes in coronavirus cases, added to revenue losses, and continued pandemic-related costs as the primary reason for the continued decline in construction employment.
“Although single-family homebuilding is gathering steam,” Simonson continued, “multifamily and nonresidential construction activity has stalled, leaving large numbers of workers at risk of losing their jobs as current projects finish up with nothing on the horizon.”
While many states in the West generally saw fewer job losses than in most of the regions, Arizona nevertheless lost 5,700 jobs; followed by Colorado, down by 6,400 losses; and New Mexico, which saw a decline of 6,800.
The AGC report also notes that the swift rolling out of the Paycheck Protection Program last spring enabled the construction industry to survive the initial fallout from the pandemic economy, while urging Washington lawmakers to extend and expand that program.
By Garry Boulard
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