Year-over-year construction employment declines in 28 states

Construction employment declined in 28 states from September 2011 to September 2012, despite 30 states adding jobs during the past month, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data. The monthly gains were too small to offset the larger annual declines in many states, association officials noted.

Among states losing construction jobs during the past year, Alaska lost the highest percentage at a 16.1-percent loss, a total of 2,400 jobs lost; followed by New Jersey, which lost 10.2 percent, or 13,400 jobs; and Nevada with its loss of 9.4 percent, or 5,000 jobs. New Jersey lost the most jobs, followed by New York’s loss of 12,500 jobs, a 4.1-percent decrease; Pennsylvania’s 9,100 jobs lost, or 4.1 percent; North Carolina’s loss of 8,400 jobs, or 4.7 percent; and Illinois’s 8,400 jobs lost, or 4.4 percent.

Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said 22 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between September 2011 and September 2012. The District of Columbia added the highest percentage of new construction jobs with its 12.5-percent increase to 1,500 additional jobs, followed by Nebraska’s 11.1-percent increase to 4,500 additional jobs and North Dakota’s 11.0-percent increase to 2,800 additional jobs. Texas added the most new construction jobs over the past 12 months; the state saw a 5.9-percent increase to 32,800 additional jobs. Texas was followed by California, which had a 4.7-percent increase to 25,700 additional jobs, and Indiana’s 5-percent increase to 6,300 additional jobs.

New Jersey’s 3.4-percent—or 4,200 jobs–decrease was the steepest percentage decline among the 19 states that lost construction jobs for the month, followed by the District of Columbia, which lost 2.9 percent, or 400 jobs; and Delaware, which lost 2.8 percent, or 500 jobs. The largest number of construction job losses in September occurred in New York, with its loss of 4,700 jobs, or 1.6 percent; followed by New Jersey and Texas, totaling a loss of 4,100 jobs, or 0.7 percent. Construction employment levels were unchanged for the month in Arkansas and Nebraska.

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The highest percentage construction employment gains for the month occurred in Missouri, which saw an increase of 4.5 percent, or 4,300 jobs; followed by Iowa’s 3.5-percent increase to 2,200 additional jobs; and Alaska’s 3.3-percent increase to 400 additional jobs. Missouri added the most jobs during the month, followed by Florida, which added 4,200 jobs, a 1.3-percent increase; and Michigan’s 2,700 additional jobs, a 2.3-percent increase.

View the state employment data by rank and by state.