Economy Watch: Construction Employment Growth Still Healthy

Thirty nine states added construction jobs in February, indicating demand for commercial and residential real estate is still strong.
February 2017 State Construction Employment, Source: The Associated General Contractors of America, Bureau of Labor Statistics

February 2017 State Construction Employment, Source: The Associated General Contractors of America, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Forty-three states added construction jobs between February 2016 and this February, while 39 states added construction jobs during February of this year, according to the Associated General Contractors of America, crunching U.S. Department of Labor data released Monday. That’s a mark that demand for commercial and residential real estate is still strong, with developers and lenders willing to go ahead with construction.

Even so, association officials noted that the despite the relatively widespread increase in construction employment, most states are still significantly below peak construction employment levels. But not all: Five states reached new highs for construction employment this year, including Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, South Dakota and Texas.

Florida added the most construction jobs (34,700 positions, up 7.5 percent) during the past year. Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs year-over-year include California (16,500 jobs, up 2.2 percent); Texas (14,200 jobs, up 2 percent); and Louisiana (13,500 jobs, up 9.6 percent).

Seven states and the District of Columbia shed construction jobs between February 2016 and this February. Mississippi lost the highest number and percentage of construction jobs (down 4,000 jobs, or 8.7 percent). Other locations with steep percentage losses year-over-year include D.C. (down 6.9 percent) and Alaska (down 3 percent).