Industry employment is usually lowest in the first quarter of each year as companies reduce employees on payroll during the winter months in anticipation of inclement weather, which was especially severe at the start of this year, the study says. Employment in the private sector, however, topped 120,000—rising from 116,000 last year—for the first time since 2009. Similar data was not provided for the public sector.

Average industry employment remains 8.3% below the 2008 peak of 131,800, the study shows.

Meanwhile, average wages earned by construction workers in the private sector rose 1.6% through the nine months of 2013, the latest period for which data was available. New York City construction workers earned an average of $51,999 in the first nine months of 2013, compared with $51,164 for the same period in 2012.

New Jersey

Feds Give Grant To Embattled Planned Wind Farm

The U. S. Energy Dept. on May 7 awarded a federal grant worth up to $46.7 million to Fishermen's Energy LLC, Cape May, N.J., to continue a pilot project to build a 25-megawatt offshore wind farm about three miles from Atlantic City. State regulators rejected funding for the $188-milion project earlier this year, questioning its financial viability. "Offshore wind offers a large, untapped energy resource for the U.S. that can create thousands of manufacturing, construction and supply-chain jobs," said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in a press release.