Forty-five states and Washington, D.C., added construction jobs from July 2017 to July 2018, and 29 states and Washington, D.C., added construction jobs from June to July, according to www.agc.org.
"Construction job gains over the past year were more widespread across the country than at any time since the beginning of 2016," says Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). "These results show that contractors are still optimistic about future construction activity. But it will be hard to sustain the increases unless more students learn of these opportunities and receive appropriate training."
Texas added the most construction jobs—57,600—between July 2017 and July 2018. California, Florida, Georgia and Arizona also added a large number of construction jobs. Additionally, Nevada added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year, followed by Georgia, Arizona, New Hampshire and Oregon.
Twenty-nine states added construction jobs from June to July, with Texas adding the most construction jobs—10,500—followed by Florida, Ohio and Indiana. New Mexico and New Hampshire added the highest percentage of construction jobs for the month.
Five states lost construction jobs between July 2017 and July 2018. New Jersey lost the highest number of construction jobs—6,000—followed by South Carolina, Missouri, Kentucky and Oklahoma. Construction employment fell in 17 states from June to July, and California lost more than any other state—1,700.
AGC officials said despite the employment increases in most states, end-of-month job openings keep rising, indicating contractors continue to have difficulty finding workers with appropriate skills. They urged federal agencies and state and local officials to quickly implement the newly enacted federal career and technical education bill that increases funding and makes it easier for education officials to craft construction-focused education programs.
"Contractors stand ready to help prepare more workers for rewarding construction careers," says AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. "School districts, community colleges and other agencies need to do their part to inform and prepare students and young adults to pursue high-paying careers in the field."