North Carolina lost 2,300 construction jobs between October and November, the Associated General Contractors of America reported in an analysis of state employment data released by the Labor Department. On a year-over-year basis, North Carolina lost 9,400 jobs.
The new figures continue a year-long pattern of mixed results in construction employment as overall demand remains weak, association officials noted.
“It is encouraging that the number of states adding jobs year-over-year was higher in November than at any time since February 2008,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “However, the data also make clear that these gains are as spotty as they are tenuous.”
The largest year-over-year percentage gains occurred in Oklahoma (9.2 percent, 6,100 jobs), New Hampshire (6.7 percent, 1,500 jobs) and Kansas (4.7 percent, 2,700 jobs). Texas had the largest increase in the number of construction employees (13,400 jobs, 2.4 percent).
Washington had the largest number of monthly job losses (4,200 jobs), followed by Utah (2,400 jobs) and North Carolina (2,300). In November, employment shrank in 29 states.
On a year-over-year basis, South Carolina lost 2,500 jobs. In November the state’s construction employment fell 3 percent (1,500 jobs) from October.
AGC officials cautioned that construction employment figures were likely to fluctuate and possibly drop over the coming months as many stimulus-funded projects begin to wind down and private-sector demand remains weak. They added that newly passed legislation that prevented steep tax increases, including for many small construction firms, will help boost overall economic activity and could drive new demand for construction later next year.
“The tax bill is a step in the right direction because it will revitalize the economy and help boost private-sector construction demand,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “But Congress still needs to act on long-delayed infrastructure bills and provide businesses with relief from an increasingly costly regulatory burden.
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