CT Ranked 36th in Construction Jobs Added During Past Year

Connecticut ranked 36th in the nation in the number of construction jobs added between July 2016 and July 2017, one of 36 states (and the District of Columbia) that added construction jobs during the 12-month period. The analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data found that firms in parts of the country that build infrastructure projects are seeing less demand for their services amid overall declines in public-sector spending. Only 100 construction jobs were added in Connecticut during the past year, moving the states employment level in construction industries from 58,800 to 58,900, reflecting growth of two-tenths of one percent.

“Despite growing private-sector demand, it appears that construction employment in some parts of the country is being brought down by declining public-sector investments,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the association.  “Some of these declines will be offset thanks to recently enacted state infrastructure funding increases, but stagnant federal investments are not helping.”

Among the New England states, Rhode Island ranked third in the nation, with a 12-month gain of 12.7 percent, New Hampshire ranked fourth with 11.8 percent growth in construction jobs, and Maine ranked sixth, with a 9.3 percent increase.

California added the most construction jobs (51,000 jobs, 6.6 percent) during the past year. Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include Florida (35,800 jobs, 7.5 percent); Louisiana (13,900 jobs, 9.8 percent); Oregon (11,900 jobs, 13.2 percent) and Texas (10,400 jobs, 1.5 percent). Oregon added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year, followed by Nevada (12.8 percent, 9,700 jobs).

Thirteen states and the District of Columbia shed construction jobs between July 2016 and July 2017 while construction employment was unchanged in North Dakota. Iowa lost the highest number of construction jobs  (-4,400 jobs, -5.4 percent), followed by Illinois (-4,300 jobs, -2.0 percent) and North Carolina (-2,500 jobs, -1.2 percent).  South Dakota lost the highest percentage for the year (-5.6 percent, -1,400 jobs) followed by Iowa and Mississippi (-3.9 percent, -1,700 jobs).

Association officials have continued to urge Congress and the administration to make needed new investments in the country’s aging infrastructure to offset declining public-sector investments in construction. In particular, they urged officials to consider including new infrastructure investments as part of a tax reform measures expected this fall, the association indicated in a news release.

CT Unemployment Rate in Construction Industry Improving, But Remains Among Highest in US

Connecticut’s unemployment rate in the construction industry remained among the highest in the U.S., ranked 39th among the 50 states in October, although the year-over-year change was the 12th best in the country.  Connecticut’s October unemployment rate in the industry was 6.7 percent, higher than the U.S. average of 5.7 percent, according to data released by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). construction The state’s construction industry unemployment rate nudged downward from 7.1 percent in September, but was 6.4 percent in July 2016.  In recent years, the rate ballooned to 18.1 percent in October 2010, at the height of the recession, from a low of 5.8 percent in October of 2008.

Overall, the U.S. construction industry added 19,000 net new jobs in November and has now added jobs for three consecutive months, according to analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data compiled by Associated Builders and Contractors. rates

Industry employment is up by 2.4 percent on a year-over-year basis, considerably faster than the overall economy’s 1.6 percent job growth rate. Construction industry employment growth would likely be much sharper if more suitably skilled or trainable workers were available to fill available job openings, according to the ABC.

The data indicate that skilled labor shortage nationally appears to be impacting nonresidential activity more than residential. The nonresidential sector added 1,100 net new jobs in November, while the residential sector added 19,600 positions. Heavy and civil engineering lost 2,100 jobs for the month.

“The demand for construction talent was strong before the election, and the outcome has improved the near-term outlook for private and public construction activity,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.  “The implication is that demand for construction workers is positioned to remain high, which will translate into gradual reduction in industry unemployment and significant wage pressures.statece

In the state-by-state numbers, calculated for October, the states with the lowest estimated not-seasonally-adjusted construction unemployment rates were North Dakota, Massachusetts, Colorado, Utah, New Hampshire and South Dakota. October not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rates were down in 33 states, including Connecticut, on a year-over-year basis.  Connecticut's October 2015 unemployment rate in the construction industry was 8.0 percent.

North Dakota’s unemployment rate in the industry was 2.4 percent, with Massachusetts at 2.5 percent.  New Hampshire’s construction industry unemployment rate was 3.6 percent.  Elsewhere in New England, Rhode Island’s unemployment rate in the construction industry was fourth highest in the nation, at 8.7 percent in October.

The unemployment rate for all U.S. industries fell to 4.6 percent in November, the lowest rate since mid-2007 and 0.3 percentage points below October’s rate. The labor force lost 226,000 persons for the month, but is still more than 2 million people larger than at the same time one year ago, officials pointed out.