Slow but Solid Gains for Construction Employment

Graph showing decrease and growth.
Published On
Sep 28, 2020

Compared to construction employment numbers a year ago, the construction market doesn’t look particularly strong. However, compared to the numbers from one month ago, strength seems to be returning to the industry.

According to the latest report from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Arlington, Va., construction employment declined in the majority of states between August 2019 and August 2020. However, construction employment increased in the majority of states between July 2020 and August 2020.

Specifically, 39 states lost construction jobs in the last year, while 31 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs in the last month.

“The new annual figures detail how the coronavirus pandemic has undermined demand for construction projects after a strong start to the year,” the report said.

“The ongoing pandemic is prompting even more private owners, developers, and public agencies to delay and cancel projects,” said Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist, citing the association’s mid-June survey and a more recent survey it produced in August. “The share of contractors that reported postponed or canceled projects nearly doubled while the share who reported winning new or expanded work dropped nearly in half.”

The five states losing the most construction jobs between August 2019 and August 2020 were (in order of most losses) California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts and Illinois.

The five states gaining the most construction jobs during the same time period were (in order of most gains) Utah, Virginia, Maryland, Indiana and Mississippi.

The five states adding the most construction jobs between July 2020 and August 2020 were (in order of most gains) California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Oregon.

The four states losing the most construction jobs during the same time period were (in order of most losses) Nevada, Florida, Nebraska and North Carolina.

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