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Wisconsin’s construction employment up year-over-year in September

Wisconsin was among 35 states that saw increased employment in their construction industries in the year leading up to September, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released last week.

Using figures gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Associated General Contractors reported Wisconsin’s construction-jobs count went up from 109,200 to 115,000 between September 2015 and 2016. That amounted to a 5.3 percent increase.

Looked at between August and September of this year, though, Wisconsin’s construction industry actually lost jobs. The industry’s headcount went down by 400 between the two months, showing a 0.3 percent decrease, according to the seasonally adjusted numbers.

That month-to-month decline put Wisconsin with 28 other states that also saw decreases from August to September. Only 21 states and the District of Columbia added jobs over the course of the month.

As in past reports on the same topic, the AGC suggested the industry’s persistent labor shortage is to blame in part for the declining numbers.

“The list of states that are adding construction jobs has been shrinking, yet contractors generally report they are busy now and optimistic about the workload ahead,” said Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist. “Therefore, the lack of employment increases in many states may reflect the difficulty contractors say they are having in finding qualified workers.”

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