Ill. Sees Strong Gains in Construction Employment
Illinois added 14,800 construction jobs in October, the fourth largest gain among states in year-over-year comparisons, according to data compiled by Arlington, Va.-based Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Only Florida (38,900 jobs), Texas (38,500) and California (34,300 jobs) made stronger showings for the same period, AGC data indicate.
Illinois additionally logged the fourth-largest percentage increase (7.8%) among states in October, followed by neighboring Wisconsin (7,000 jobs 7.2%).
Other Midwest states, including Michigan (4,300 jobs, 3/3%), Indiana (3,500 jobs, 2.8%) and Missouri (1,700 1.6%), also added jobs in October, with only Ohio, (1,000, -0.5%) posting declines for the same period.
In all, 37 states and District of Columbia added jobs in year-over-year comparisons, while 28 states logged gains in month-to-month comparisons. “These year-over-year and one-month changes show construction is doing well in most of the country,” says AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson. “Yet, the list of states that have added construction jobs varies from month to month, showing the industry's recovery remains vulnerable to worker shortages and unfavorable government actions.”
An AGC study issued in October indicates 83% of U.S. construction firms have encountered difficulty meeting new demand for construction services, with shortages most pronounced in the Southeast, where 86% of contractors reported difficulty locating qualified workers. Some 84% of contractors in the Midwest, 82% in the West and 67% in the Northeast reported similar difficulties.
AGC estimates nearly 2 million industry workers lost jobs during the nation's economic downturn. Many have since secured employment in oil, gas and trucking