Construction firms added jobs in 43 states and the District of Columbia between January 2014 and January 2015 while construction employment increased in 31 between December and January, according to an analysis today of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that further construction gains could be undermined if Congress and the administration fail to address infrastructure funding challenges growing regulatory burdens.
“Most of the country experienced a welcome rebound in construction employment last year,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Yet it is unclear how public sector demand and new regulatory requirements will overshadow relatively robust private-sector demand.”
States adding the most new construction jobs between January 2014 and January 2015 include:
- Texas (49,600 jobs, 7.9 percent)
- California (37,800 jobs, 5.7 percent)
- Florida (31,800 jobs, 8.3 percent)
- Washington (17,300 jobs, 11.1 percent)
- New York (16,400 jobs, 5.0 percent)
Seven states shed construction jobs during the past 12 months.
- Mississippi lost the highest percentage and total number of jobs (-6,600 jobs, -12.7 percent)
- Indiana (-1,900 jobs, -1.6 percent)
- West Virginia (-700 jobs, -2.1 percent)
- Minnesota (-700 jobs, -0.7 percent)
- Maine (-500 jobs, -1.9 percent)
Thirty-one states added construction jobs between December and January:
- California (11,700 jobs, 1.7 percent)
- New Jersey (6,100 jobs, 4.2 percent)
- Michigan (5,900 jobs, 4.1 percent)
- Florida (5,500 jobs, 1.3 percent)
Nineteen states lost construction jobs for the month, while construction employment was unchanged in the District of Columbia. Louisiana (-4,100 jobs, -2.8 percent) lost the highest percentage and the most construction jobs between December and January. Other states experiencing large monthly declines in total construction employment included:
- Indiana (-2,800 jobs, -2.3 percent)
- Georgia (-2,800 jobs, -1.8 percent)
- Illinois (-2,500 jobs, -1.2 percent)
Association officials said they were worried about the Obama administration’s efforts to issue a host of new regulations during the remainder of the President’s terms. They noted that many of these rules do little to address the problems they were ostensibly intended to address while adding costly new paperwork and reporting requirements for employers. Coupled with Washington seeming inability to find ways to fund aging road, bridge and other infrastructure repairs, officials warned growing red tape could undermine future employment gains.
“If Congress and the Obama administration are serious about wanting to help the middle class, they will need to find a way to fund infrastructure investments over the long term,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “And the administration needs to stop trying to impose its failed legislative agenda via regulatory fiat.” View the state employment data by rank and state.