Construction firms added jobs in 40 states and the District of Columbia between December 2013 and December 2014 while construction employment increased in 38 states and DC between November and December, according to an analysis today of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America.
The AGC noted that construction employment gains are consistent with the optimism that most contractors expressed in the association’s recently release Construction Hiring and Business Outlook. 80% of construction firms plan to expand their payrolls this year while only 7% expect to reduce headcounts according to an AGC survey.
“Part of the reason for the positive December construction employment figures was the exceptionally harsh weather in much of December 2013 and November 2014 and milder than normal weather in December 2014,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist of the AGC. “Nevertheless, the underlying trend is very positive, with construction employment expanding at more than double the rate for total nonfarm payroll jobs.”
Texas added the most construction jobs (47,500 jobs, 7.7%) between December 2013 and December 2014. Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months included Florida (34,300 jobs, 8.9%), California (26,000 jobs, 4%), Illinois (20,200 jobs, 10.6%) and Washington (14,100 jobs, 9.5%). North Dakota (25.7%, 8,300 jobs) added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year, followed by Utah (13.4%, 10,100 jobs), Wisconsin (12.7%, 12,400 jobs) and Arkansas (12.6%, 5,800 jobs).