Daily News

Construction Employment Increases in 39 States Over Past Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Construction firms added jobs in 39 states between September 2013 and September 2014 while construction employment increased in 34 states and the District of Columbia between August and September, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by Associated General Contractors of America.

Association officials noted that the construction job gains come as more construction firms report having a hard time finding qualified workers to fill key positions. “Construction firms in most states have been expanding during the past year,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “But as those firms expand, they have to work harder to attract their skilled craft workers and key construction professionals.”

Florida added the most construction jobs of any state (41,900 jobs, 11.2%). Ten states shed construction jobs during the past 12 months, with construction employment unchanged in D.C. and New Mexico.

Association officials said the new employment figures show that the industry continues to add new workers after its years-long downturn. But they cautioned that more and more firms are reporting labor shortages. “Hard as it is to imagine, given what this industry has been through the past few years, but many firms are very worried about their ability to find, recruit, and retain qualified workers as the industry continues to rebound,” said Stephen Sandherr, the association’s CEO.