Forty-five states and the District of Columbia — Wisconsin included — added construction jobs between August 2017 and August 2018, while 33 states added construction jobs between July and August, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Wisconsin saw a 4.7 percent increase in construction jobs in August from the same month the year before, showing an increase of 5,500 jobs. The state’s construction employment rate fell slightly from July to August, however, by 0.1 percent, according to AGC’s analysis of U.S. Department of Labor data. AGC officials welcomed the job gains but noted that the numbers would have been higher if contractors had been able to find more qualified workers to hire.
“Only three states experienced a decline in construction employment over the past year, the fewest number with a decrease since May 2015,” said the AGC chief economist, Ken Simonson. “These results show that contractors still expect to have plenty of work in the months ahead. The question many in the industry are asking is whether they will be able to find enough workers to keep pace with demand.”
Of all states, Texas added the most construction jobs during the past year, jumping 7.9 percent in August from the same month a year bfore. Construction employment also reached a record high in five states: Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington.
Only three states shed construction jobs between August 2017 and 2018, and construction employment was unchanged in Alaska and Pennsylvania. The largest and steepest percentage losses occurred in New Jersey, which lost 6,600 jobs and fell 4.2 percent in August.