AGC: Analysis shows hope amid grim news as construction employment falls in most states
The construction employment picture brightened slightly with 18 states adding construction jobs from April to May according to a new analysis of data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, construction employment overall continued to decline, noted Ken Simonson, the chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America.
"Projects funded by the stimulus legislation probably mitigated the overall downturn in construction jobs in May," Simonson said, noting however that the BLS data do not separately identify 'stimulus' hires. "While the stimulus is starting to help, it is not keeping pace with overall declines in construction activity in most places."
Simonson noted that North Dakota saw the biggest increase in construction employment from April to May, with a 9 percent rise, seasonally adjusted, followed by Mississippi, 4 percent; South Dakota and Indiana, 3 percent each; and West Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and Nebraska, 2 percent each. (To prevent disclosure of data for industries with small employment totals, BLS presents construction combined with mining and logging in South Dakota, Nebraska, four other states and the District of Columbia), according to a June 19 AGC report