Michigan was the nation's third largest generator of construction employment in May, trailing only Idaho and Washington on a percentage basis, according to year-over-year comparisons compiled by Arlington, Va.-based Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Michigan added 15,100 jobs for the period, boosting employment by 10.7%. May marked the second consecutive month Michigan ranked third in employment gains, despite churn among states on a month-to-month basis.
“Construction has outpaced the overall economy in adding workers nationally but the mix of states with construction job gains keeps changing,” says AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson. “The top 10 states for job gains from April to May had previously lagged in adding construction workers, while energy-producing and other states that had record construction employment a few months ago have slipped.”
Among Midwest states, only Illinois joined Michigan in the top 10, logging a 6.9% increase in jobs.
In raw numbers Michigan was the sixth-largest generator of construction jobs in May. Illinois, with 13,700 new jobs, was the eighth largest.
In raw numbers, California added the most construction jobs (46,600, 6.9%) between May 2014 and May 2015, followed by Florida (28,200 jobs, 7.2%), Texas (20,300 jobs, 3.1%), Washington (18,100 jobs, 11.6%) and North Carolina (15,600 jobs, 8.8 %).
In all, construction increased in 40 states in year-over-year comparisons and 28 states in month-to-month comparisons.
“Although most states are adding construction workers, only five have exceeded pre-recession employment peaks, and all five slipped in May,” says Simonson. “This shows the industry’s recovery remains vulnerable to a downturn in government investment in infrastructure, as well as market forces.”
“We are likely to see a lot more stability in construction employment once Washington finds a way to finance needed infrastructure projects,” adds AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr.