March Employment Builds While Construction Jobs Lag

Employment Building While Construction Jobs Lag

Seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment increased in 38 states in March and decreased in 12 states and the District of Columbia, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Tuesday. Compared with March 2010, employment increased in 47 states and D.C. and decreased by small amounts in three states: Kansas, -0.5%; New Jersey and New Mexico, less than -0.1% each. The biggest year-over-year percentage gains were in North Dakota, 4.2%; Vermont, 2.8%; Alaska and Texas, 2.4% each.

In contrast, construction employment rose in only 19 states in March, fell in 27 plus D.C., and was level in four (Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa and New Hampshire), an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America showed. Over the year, construction employment climbed in just 16 states plus D.C., dropped in 33 states and held steady in Vermont.

The largest year-over-year percentage gains in construction employment were in Tennessee, 6.3%; Texas, 5.1%; Wyoming, 5.3%; and Delaware, 4.2%. The largest decreases were in West Virginia, -11%; Wisconsin, -8.0%; Georgia, -7.6%; and Nevada, -7.5%. (BLS combines mining and logging with construction in six states plus D.C. to avoid disclosing data about industries with few employers.)