Construction employment declined in 28 states from September 2011 to September 2012 even as 30 states added jobs during the past month, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data. Association officials noted that the monthly gains, while welcome, were too small to offset the larger annual declines in many states.
“Even though a good number of states gained jobs in September, most states have a smaller construction workforce than they did a year ago,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. North Carolina’s construction workforce declined from 177,700 in September 2012 to 170,900 in Septembeer 2012.
Like many other states that lost construction jobs during the past year, North Carolina’s construction employment fell by 8400 jobs (-4.7 percent).South Carolina lost 1,200 jobs (-1.6%) when the state’s construction workforce declined from 75,600 to 74,700 jobs.
North Carolina showed a modest gain for the September 2011 to September 2012 period. Construction employment increased for that month by 1,100 jobs (0.7 percent). South Carolina lost 1000 jobs (-1.3 percent) in the one month period
AGC officials said that construction employment was suffering because of Washington’s failure to act on a range of tax, spending and infrastructure programs. They added that the political uncertainty wasn’t just affecting the public sector market, with construction firms reporting many private sector projects appear to be on hold until Congress sets tax rates, addresses the fiscal cliff and acts on vital infrastructure measures.
“A lot of businesses are wary of investing in new construction activity when they don’t know where the economy is heading or even what tax rates they will have to pay next year,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Economies don’t thrive amid uncertainty and inaction.” Read More.