21 states add construction jobs in April as labor shortage persists
- An Associated General Contractors of America analysis of Department of Labor data found that 21 states added construction positions between March and April, a four-state uptick compared to last month. Like March, 39 states added construction jobs year over year.
- California once again added the most jobs from March to April (7,200 jobs; 0.9%), and Connecticut gained the biggest share (4.7%; 2,800 jobs). California was the year-over-year jobs winner again (38,000; 4.9%), and Nevada gained the highest percentage of positions since April 2016 (13%; 9,700 jobs).
- Twenty-seven states lost construction jobs from March to April, with Texas giving up the largest number (-10,300 jobs; -1.4%) and Montana shedding the largest share (-3.8%; -1,100 jobs). Illinois sacrificed the most construction jobs year-over-year (-6,600 jobs; -3%), and Mississippi lost the biggest share (-8.1%; -3,600 jobs).
The persistent skilled-labor shortage is still keeping employers from reaching their staffing goals. AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson said in a release that there is plenty of work out there, so the lack of hiring is a result of the low labor supply. He said that unless the size of the workforce increases, employers will be forced to rework schedules to accommodate the tight labor conditions.
The AGC has once again called upon U.S. lawmakers to beef up career and technical education programs and pass the new Perkins Act, which provides funding for those initiatives. The legislation would also give local school officials more leeway in designing technical programs so that they can better meet local workforce challenges and demands.
The AGC has consistently promoted these strategies in its Workforce Development Plan and has continued to campaign for outreach programs that will educate young people about the high-paying opportunities available in the construction industry.
Unfortunately for the industry, a National Association of Home Builders survey revealed that 63% of those surveyed — ages 18 to 25 — who were undecided about a career responded that they had little or no intention of pursuing a job in construction. Of those who had decided on a career, only 3% chose the construction trades.
- Associated General Contractors of America Thirty-Nine States Add Construction Jobs Between April 2016 & 2017 But 27 States Lost Jobs Between March and April Amid Worker Shortages
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