Construction employment increased in 26 states between July and August and in 35 states for the year, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data. Association officials cautioned, however, that construction employment remains below peak levels in most states and warned of the potential impact of a halt in federal construction investments.
“While we would all like to see even more robust growth, it is encouraging that most states have a larger construction workforce today than they did a year ago,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “It will take a lot more growth, however, before construction employment levels return to their pre-recession levels in most places.”
Fourteen states and the District of Columbia lost construction jobs between August 2012 and August 2013. North Carolina experience a significant rate of decline (-3500 jobs, -2.1 percent.) The Tar Heel state lost 1,700 construction jobs between July 2013 and August 2013.
Association officials said that much of the industry’s recent growth was coming from a few private sector areas, particularly demand for new housing and energy facilities. Those gains have been strong enough to offset declining public sector investments and weak private sector demand in areas like retail construction. As a result, many construction employers would be particularly hard hit by a sudden halt in federal construction activity.
“The impacts of a sudden halt in discretionary federal construction investments could be quite severe, especially on employment levels in states with a number of federal construction projects underway” Sandherr added. View the state employment data by state. Read More.