Construction Employment Declines in 25 States
Between April and May as Stimulus Outweighed by Weak, Private, State
and Local Demand
June 22, 2010
Construction employment declined in 25 states between April and
May and in 45 states between May 2009 and 2010, according to a new
analysis of federal data released today by the Associated General
Contractors of America. Construction employment will remain weak
despite the short-term stimulus while private, state and local demand
for construction remains depressed, association officials noted.
"Construction workers will continue losing jobs until demand
for new housing, office, retail and local public construction improves,"
said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "Although
the stimulus is helping, it is very likely that construction employment
has yet to hit bottom in most states."
Seasonally adjusted construction employment declined in 25 states,
improved in 22 and the District of Columbia, and was unchanged in
three states, Simonson noted. He said New York lost the most jobs
during the past month (9,800 jobs, 3.1 percent), while Wyoming lost
the highest percentage (6.5 percent, 1,500 jobs). Other states experiencing
large monthly construction employment declines included South Dakota
(3.8 percent, 800 jobs); Michigan (3.4 percent, 4,200 jobs); and
Wisconsin (3.4 percent, 3,500 jobs).
Simonson said Louisiana added the most jobs during the past month
(2,400 jobs, 2.0 percent) while Hawaii added the highest percentage
(4.1 percent, 1,200 jobs). Other big gainers included Maine (3.7
percent, 800 jobs); D.C. (3.7 percent, 400 jobs); and West Virginia
(2.7 percent, 900 jobs.)
California lost more construction jobs during the past 12 months
than any other state (80,900 jobs, 12.8 percent) while Nevada lost
the highest percentage (23.0 percent, 18,900 jobs). Other states
experiencing high percentage drops include Washington (15.6 percent,
25,400 jobs); Missouri (15.0 percent, 18,000 jobs); and Vermont
(14.7 percent, 2,000 jobs.)
Simonson noted that Kansas added the most construction jobs between
May 2009 and May 2010 (3,600 jobs, 6.2 percent). The other four
states to add construction jobs over the past year were North Dakota
(5.4 percent, 1,100 jobs); Arkansas (3.0 percent, 1,500 jobs); Alaska
(2.5 percent, 400 jobs); and New Hampshire (1.3 percent, 300 jobs).
Association officials said private, state and local construction
employment demand was unlikely to improve until next year at the
earliest, given current vacancy rates and public finances. With
economists predicting stimulus work will decline later this year,
association officials urged Congress and the Administration to act
on a series of long-delayed infrastructure measures.
HERE for state-by-state construction employment figures.
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