While Arizona and New Mexico lost construction employment in August, Nevada added jobs in the sector. It is one of only 24 states that added construction jobs between July and August 2016, due in part to a lack of qualified workers in the market, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.
That trend did not hold in the Southwest a month later as Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada all added construction jobs between August and September. However, only 21 states and Washington D.C. added construction jobs during that span.
Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico also joined 33 other states in adding construction jobs between September 2015 and September 2016. This was a continuation of August’s year over year growth for Arizona and Nevada while New Mexico saw construction employment contract year over year in August.
After an employment downturn in August that saw construction lose 2,500 seasonally-adjusted jobs month-over-month in August, the industry rebounded in September by adding 2,900 jobs. The state’s 2.1% construction employment growth rate month-over-month in September ranks first nationally according to the Associated General Contractors of America. New York and California had the largest total number of new construction jobs from August to September: approximately 5,000.
Despite the negative monthly employment growth in August, Arizona continued to post strong year-over-year construction job growth in August and September, gaining 8,000 jobs between August 2015 and August 2016 and 11,800 jobs between September 2015 and September 2016. Arizona ranked fifth nationally with a 9.2% construction employment growth rate in September year-over-year.
Overall, the state of Arizona did not experience the same employment downturn as the construction industry in August. The state added 29,600 nonfarm jobs month-over-month, buoyed by 31,100 government jobs, according to Arizona’s monthly employment press release.
The surge in government employment, predominantly caused by educational hiring at the beginning of the public school year, continued into September as the state added 31,100 government jobs in the month. Overall, Arizona added 32,700 nonfarm jobs in between August and September. The state’s unemployment rate trended downward in both months as well, falling 0.2% to 5.8% in August before falling again to 5.5% in September. That is 0.5% higher than the national average.
Nevada posted the third highest construction employment rate of any state in August by adding 1,100 jobs month-over-month. That positive trend continued in September, albeit on a smaller scale, as the state added 400 construction jobs month over month. Nevada’s 0.5% monthly construction employment growth rate in September ranked 18th nationally, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.
Year-over-year, Nevada added 8,900 jobs in both August and September. The state’s yearly construction employment growth rate of 8.9% ranked fifth nationally in August and sixth nationally in September.
Overall employment in Nevada did not experience the same growth as the construction industry as the state lost 1,500 nonfarm jobs month over month in September. The state had an unemployment rate of 6.3% in August. The rate fell to 5.8% in September, which is 0.8% higher than the national average, according to seasonally-adjusted numbers in the state’s monthly employment report.
“Year-over-year, Nevada added a seasonally adjusted 34,300 jobs over September last year, for a growth rate of 2.7 percent,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Research and Analysis Bureau of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. “Notably, the state has exceeded national job gains for 50 consecutive months. The September decline in jobs is not cause for concern, as underlying trends suggest the Silver State has consistently been on the mend since the 2010 trough.”
After losing 800 construction jobs in August, New Mexico rebounded slightly in September, adding 400 jobs in the sector, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. The state’s monthly construction employment growth rate of 0.9% from August to September ranks ninth nationally.
The state’s year-over-year movement mirrored that monthly back and forth as New Mexico lost 300 construction jobs between August 2015 and August 2016. The state added 400 jobs between September 2015 and September 2016, good for a 0.9% growth rate that ranks 33rd nationally.
New Mexico’s unemployment rate rose from 6.6% in August to 6.7% in September. The state’s unemployment rate in September was also up 0.2% over September 2015. In that time, Nevada lost 2,000 nonfarm jobs. The state experienced significant losses in mining employment, while “education and health services” and “professional and business services” each showed promising growth year over year.
Wayne Schutsky contributed to this report.
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