- An Associated General Contractors of America analysis of Department of Labor data found that 39 states added construction jobs between January and February — one state more than the previous month. For the period February 2016 to February 2017, 43 states added positions.
- Illinois added the most jobs from January to February (7,300 jobs; 3.4%) and Alaska gained the largest share (7.9%; 1,200 jobs). Florida, once again, added the most jobs year over year at 34,700 positions (7.5%), while Rhode Island gained the largest percentage (12.2%; 2,200 jobs).
- Virginia lost the most construction jobs from January to February (-3,200 jobs; -1.7%), and Mississippi lost the largest percentage (-3.7%; -1,600 jobs). Mississippi was again the big loser of construction jobs year over year (-4,000 jobs; -8.7%), as well as the state that sacrificed the largest percentage.
Warmer winter weather and high demand for construction services have driven up employment numbers. Despite the overall growth in construction positions, AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson said in a release that employment in many states is still 10% lower than all-time peaks.
The AGC said construction companies continue to have a hard time finding skilled workers and, and the association has kept up its efforts to petition federal, state and local officials to take up the suggestions in its Workforce Development Plan. The situation isn't expected to loosen up anytime soon as evidenced by a January AGC survey that found 73% of construction companies expect to increase their workforces this year, while that same percentage said they were struggling to find enough skilled workers.
Much of the construction industry's optimism revolves around President Donald Trump and his administration's ability to get his planned $1 trillion infrastructure program underway. Some media outlets have reported, however, that the Trump team could focus on other issues first and delay infrastructure legislation until 2018.