Illinois added 20,000 construction jobs in December, placing it among the nation's top five gaining states for a fourth consecutive month, according to year-over-year comparisons compiled by Arlington, Va.-based Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Only Texas (47,000 jobs), Florida (34,300) and California (26,000 jobs) placed stronger over the same period, AGC data indicate.

Illinois also was among the top five gainers on a percentage basis, posting a 10% increase between December 2013 and 2014. Wisconsin added 12,400 jobs over the same period, placing it third among states on a percentage basis (12.7%).

Illinois gained 6,000 jobs in month-to-month comparisons (2.9%), placing it sixth among states, while Wisconsin gained 2,900 jobs (2.7%) over the same period, placing it ninth among states.

Other Midwest states also fared well in year-over-year comparisons, led by Michigan  
(7,200 jobs, +5.4%), Missouri (5,200 jobs), and Indiana (3,300 jobs, 2.6%). Only Ohio posted declines
(-2,500 jobs, -1.3%) between December 2013 and December 2014.

In all, construction employment increased in 40 states and Washington, D.C., in year-over-year comparisons and in 38 states and Washington D.C. in month-to-month comparisons.  

“Part of the reason for the positive December construction employment figures was the exceptionally harsh weather in much of December 2013 and November 2014 and milder than normal weather in December 2014,” says AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson. “Nevertheless, the underlying trend is very positive, with construction employment expanding at more than double the rate for total non-farm payroll jobs.”

“The construction industry appears on track to add many new construction jobs in 2015,” adds AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr.