- Since the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic first emerged in the United States, Texas has lost more construction jobs (35,600) than any other state, followed by New York (30,900), Florida (17,500) and New Jersey (16,700), according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America.
- Seasonally adjusted construction employment in December was lower than in February 2020 in 34 states, according to the analysis, with Vermont experiencing the largest percentage of jobs lost at 23%, or 3,400 positions.
- Fifteen states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs from February to December. Virginia added the most jobs (10,800), followed by Utah (7,000) and Alabama (6,100), which also had the highest percentage gain (6.4%).
“While most states recorded construction employment gains in December, the pickup is likely to be temporary for many,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Participants in our association’s recent Hiring and Business Outlook Survey expect the dollar volume of most project types available to bid on to decline in 2021.”
Indeed, in the group’s outlook survey of 1,300 contractors, respondents expected growth only for non-hospital healthcare such as clinics, testing and screening facilities and medical laboratories; warehouses; and water and sewer projects.
AGC officials said demand for construction will continue to suffer until the coronavirus is under control and urged federal officials to enact measures to help stem additional job losses in the sector. These new measures should include new federal investments in infrastructure, backfilling depleted state and local construction budgets, and moving quickly to forgive Paycheck Protection Program loans issued last year.
“Contractors are eager to save as many jobs as possible during the next several months on the expectation demand will return once the coronavirus comes under control,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Washington officials can help save countless construction careers by acting now to stabilize demand.”