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AGC Survey Sees Overall Jobs Hike in Past Month

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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The Associated General Contractors of America recently released its latest state-by-state employment data analysis, which found that while jobs have still mostly declined year over year, 31 states have added jobs between July and August.

The Report

Year over year, 39 states have reportedly lost construction jobs, however, 31 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between July and August according to the new analysis.

The new annual figures detail how the COVID-19 pandemic has undermined demand for construction projects after a strong start to the year, according to the organization.

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The Associated General Contractors of America recently released its latest state-by-state employment data analysis, which found that while jobs have still mostly declined year over year, 31 states have added jobs between July and August.

“The ongoing pandemic is prompting ever more private owners, developers and public agencies to delay and cancel projects,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, going on to cite previous surveys. “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.”

Year over year, the states that have lost the most jobs (both in number and percentage) include:

  • California (-52,000 jobs, -5.8%);
  • New York (-46,000 jobs, -11.3%);
  • Texas (-39,300 jobs, -5.0%);
  • Massachusetts (-20,200 jobs, -12.4%);
  • Illinois (-17,200 jobs, -7.5%);
  • Vermont (-4,500 jobs, -29.6%);
  • Iowa (-9,300 jobs, -11.8%); and
  • Louisiana (-15,700 jobs, -11.4%).

Several states, despite the pandemic, have added jobs year over year, however. Those top states include:

  • Utah (8,800 jobs, 8.0%);
  • Virginia (4,400 jobs, 2.2%);
  • Maryland (3,800 jobs, 2.3%);
  • Indiana (3,100 jobs, 2.1%);
  • Missouri (2,700 jobs, 2.1%)
  • South Dakota (2,600 jobs,10.9%); and
  • Idaho (1,300 jobs, 2.4%).

In the past month, many states added jobs. Those include:

  • California (6,700 jobs, 0.8%);
  • New York (5,200 jobs, 1.5%);
  • Pennsylvania (4,100 jobs, 1.7%);
  • Texas (3,300 jobs, 0.4%);
  • Oregon (3,200 jobs, 3.1%);
  • New Mexico (3,100 jobs, 6.7%);
  • Mississippi (1,400 jobs, 3.4%); and
  • Kentucky (1,600 jobs, 2.0%).

AGC also notes, though, that 19 states did lose jobs in the past month. Those top states include:

  • Nevada (-2,600 jobs, -2.8%);
  • Florida (-2,200 jobs, -0.4%);
  • Nebraska (-1,800 jobs, -3.3%);
  • North Carolina (-1,800 jobs, -0.8%);
  • Hawaii; (-1,300 jobs, -3.5%); and
  • Virginia ( -1,100 jobs, -3.3%).

The AGC is again calling for federal funding to boost the demand of construction employment across particularly infrastructure sectors.

Past Data

The most recent set of data released by the AGC illustrated the gap between infrastructure and residential job demands, which suggested that suggests that the trend of an increase in residential jobs alongside a decrease in nonresidential and infrastructure jobs is continuing.

The AGC has found that construction employment increased by 16,000 jobs in August, but the gains were concentrated in housing, while the infrastructure and nonresidential building construction sector lost 11,000 jobs.

“Construction is becoming a tale of two sectors, as homebuilding and limited nonresidential niches thrive but most other private, as well as public, construction shrinks,” said Simonson. “These employment numbers are in line with our survey, which found a plurality of construction firms expect it will take more than six months before their volume of business matches year-ago levels.”

The AGC/Autodesk Workforce Survey of more than 2,000 contractors was released Sept. 2 and found that 38% of respondents expect it will take more than six months for their firm’s volume of business to return to normal, relative to a year earlier.

Moreover, the employment pickup in August was limited to homebuilding, home improvement and a portion of nonresidential construction:

  • There was a rise of 27,700 jobs in residential construction employment, comprising residential building (3,200) and residential specialty trade contractors (24,500); and
  • There was a net decrease of 11,000 jobs in nonresidential construction employment, covering nonresidential building (10,200), specialty trades (-15,700) and heavy and civil engineering construction (-5,500).


Tagged categories: Associated General Contractors (AGC); Business matters; COVID-19; Economy; Good Technical Practice; Jobs; NA; North America

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