AGC: Only 23 states add jobs in July as labor shortage rages on
- The Associated General Contractors of America reported that, similar to last month, 23 states and Washington, DC, added construction jobs from June to July, while the number of year-over-year industry positions increased in 39 states.
- Texas (7,800 jobs, 1.1%) added the most jobs in July, while Idaho saw the highest percentage increase (4.6%, 1,900 jobs). Still on top in year-over-year gains, California (29100, 4.0%) added the most jobs from July 2015 to July 2016, and Iowa (16.5%, 12,800 jobs) had the biggest percentage increase.
- Of the 27 states to shed jobs from June to July, Ohio (-3,600 jobs, -1.7%) lost the most positions, and Delaware (-2.3%, -500 jobs) lost the highest percentage of jobs. Year over year, Kansas lost the most jobs (-4,400 jobs, -7.3%), and North Dakota lost the highest percentage (-8.5%, -2,900 jobs).
The AGC said construction companies that specialize in infrastructure projects or that are located in stagnant economies are trying to find enough work, while companies that have a lot of private commercial work or that are located in booming areas of the country are struggling to find enough skilled workers.
This trend emphasizes the fact that the construction industry has more than one labor market, each with its own conditions, the AGC noted. "Where demand is strong, labor is tight, and where demand is weak, labor conditions are better," AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr said in a release.
When it comes to skilled workers, the AGC has long-touted its Workforce Development Plan as a blueprint to increasing the numbers of workers in the construction labor pipeline, highlighting the need for increased government funding of career and technical programs in secondary schools.
Earlier this month, the AGC reported that construction employment increased by 14,000 jobs in July, resulting in a year-over-year uptick of 3.3%. The association also said that construction wages have increased by 3% to an average $28.20 per hour, which is 10% more than the average pay rate of all other private industries combined. In addition, July industry unemployment was 4.5% versus the nationwide figure of 4.9%. Average weekly work hours increased to 39.2, and the AGC said that means employers are trying to make up for the labor shortage by asking their existing employees to work more hours.
- Associated General Contractors of America CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYMENT RISES IN 39 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OVER LATEST 12 MONTHS; YET ONLY 23 STATES AND D.C. ADD JOBS FROM JUNE TO JULY
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