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Industry sees jump in jobs

Forty-two states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between November this year and November last year, according to the Associated General Contractors of America’s analysis of U.S. Department of Labor data.

Also, 23 states added construction jobs between October and November.

Association officials said low unemployment rates across most of the nation made it tough for contractors to continue adding workers despite strong demand for projects.

Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist, noted that there were 292,000 job openings in construction at the end of October, a jump of 59,000 or 25 percent from a year earlier and the highest October level in the 18 years that the labor department has published the data. The number of unemployed jobseekers with recent construction experience — 352,000 — was the lowest yet for that month.

Together, these figures suggest contractors in many states cannot find experienced workers to fill vacancies, Simonson said.

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