According to an analysis of new federal employment data released by the U.S. general contractor, only 18 states and the District of Columbia have added construction jobs since the pandemic began in February 2020, although most states have employment from October to November. It has improved every month. Association officials said that one reason why employment in many areas of the United States is below pre-pandemic levels is the lack of available workers.
Ken Simonson, the chief economist of the association, said, “In recent months, construction activities have picked up, but they have not yet reached the level of employment at the beginning of last year. The labor market was already very tight at the time. Qualified workers, then more states have now fully recovered from unemployment caused by the pandemic," he pointed out that the number of job vacancies at the end of October exceeded the number of employed workers in the industry that month.
From February 2020, the month before the suspension or cancellation of the project due to the pandemic, until last month, construction employment decreased in 32 states, and only 18 states and Washington, DC increased. During this period, Texas laid off the most construction jobs (42,600 jobs, 5.5%), followed by New York (39,700 jobs, 9.7%), California (23,100 jobs, 2.5%), and Louisiana (19,800 jobs, 14.5%). The biggest losses were in Louisiana, Wyoming (a decrease of 13.1% and 3,000 jobs), and New York State. Florida State has the largest increase in construction jobs since February 2020 (8700 jobs, 1.5%), followed by Utah State (8200 jobs, 7.2%) and Washington State (6200 jobs, 2.8%). The largest percentage increase was in South Dakota (10.5%, 2500 jobs), followed by Idaho (8.7%, 4800 jobs) and Utah.
From October to November, construction employment decreased in 13 states, construction employment increased in 36 states and Washington, D.C., and there was no change in Kansas. Louisiana lost the most jobs (2200 jobs, 1.8%), followed by North Carolina (1900 jobs, 0.8%) and New Jersey (1800 jobs, 1.2%). Louisiana also had the largest percentage drop, followed by Oklahoma (down 1.5%, down 1,200 jobs), New Jersey, and North Carolina. From October to November, Florida added the most construction jobs (8200 jobs, 1.4%), followed by Illinois (3800 jobs, 1.7%) and Texas (3600 jobs) Position, 0.5%). Montana had the largest percentage increase (2.7%, 800 jobs), followed by Missouri (2.6%, 3,200 jobs) and Vermont (2.1%, 300 jobs).
Figure 1 The jobs of glass curtain wall building 1
Officials from the association said that labor shortages have weakened the construction industry’s ability to fully recover. They urged government officials to increase investment in vocational and technical education and other projects so that more people would be exposed to construction career opportunities. At the same time, the association is cooperating with its branches and member units to recruit more diverse people to join the industry.
CEO Stephen Sandherr said: “It’s time to stop giving students the false impression that every good career requires a college degree, and it happens in one office or another.”
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