Ill. Construction Industry Extends Hiring Streak
Illinois added 12,000 construction jobs in November, placing it among the nation's top five gaining states for a third consecutive month, according to year-over-year data compiled by Arlington, Va.-based Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Only Texas (47.300 jobs), California (40,800 jobs), Florida (34,900 jobs) and Washington (12,800 jobs) posted stronger showings for the same period, AGC data indicate.
In October, Illinois added 14,800 construction jobs, the fourth largest gain among states in year-over-year comparisons. The state added 11,700 jobs in September, placing it third among states.
On a percentage basis, Illinois (6.2%) placed 10th among job-gaining states in year-over-year comparisons, with Wisconsin (7,400 jobs, 7.5%) the only other Midwest state cracking the the top 10. Results were mixed among other Midwest states, with Michigan (5,700 jobs, 4.3%) and Indiana (3,200 jobs, 2.6%) posting increases and Ohio (-1,400 jobs, -0.8%) and Missouri (-100, -0.1%) losses.
In all, construction firms added jobs in 38 states and District of Columbia in year-over-year comparisons 26 states and District of Columbia in month-to-month comparisons, according to AGC data.
“Construction job growth remains positive overall, but volatile," says AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson. “Although more than three-quarters of states have added construction jobs from year-earlier levels throughout 2014, the list of states with gains keeps changing. Only North Dakota, Louisiana and Oklahoma have exceeded their pre-recession peaks for construction employment this year, while most states are still at least 10 percent below previous highs.”
AGC officials indicated the best way to ensure greater stability was for Congress and the Obama administration to work together to fund needed repairs to aging roads, transit, clean water and other infrastructure.