Southwest Construction Jobs Continue Upward Trajectory
June 28, 2017
Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada all added construction jobs month-over-month, bucking a national trend that saw 27 states post industry employment losses over that same period, according to seasonally-adjusted numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The year-over-year numbers were also more positive across the country as 39 states experienced employment growth between April 2015 and April 2016. All three states in ENR’s southwestern region posted yearly employment growth rates that ranked in the top 15 nationally, and Nevada ranked number one with a yearly growth rate of 13%.
Arizona ranked eighth nationally in month-over-month construction employment growth rate after the state grew employment by 1.8% by adding 2,500 jobs. Construction was the second in job growth in the state over that time behind only government employment, according to the state’s monthly employment report.
On a yearly basis, Arizona added 6,500 construction positions, good for a 4.9% growth rate that ranked 15th nationally. The industry ranked in the top five in employment growth over the past year in Arizona as the state posted a net gain of 51,900 jobs year-over-year.
Arizona’s unemployment rate remained stagnant at 5% between March and April. That rate is higher than the national rate of 4.4%.
Nevada ranked third in the country in construction employment growth, posting a 3.3% growth rate between March and April by adding 2,700 jobs. Those strong numbers helped Nevada achieve stronger than expected overall job growth as the state added 17,000 jobs, which is far greater than the 5,700 jobs analysts expected based on historical trends, according to the state’s monthly employment report.
“April brought more positive news as all indicators point to continued success in Nevada’s economy,” says Bill Anderson, chief economist for Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, in the report. “Employers are showing confidence by adding jobs across all sectors. As previously reported, we are confident that the next few years will continue to show strong growth in Nevada’s labor market.”
The state posted equally impressive year over year construction employment gains, adding 9,700 jobs over that period.
Construction has added over 6,000 jobs in Nevada year to date, which ranks third amongst all non-farm industries in the state.
Nevada’s unemployment rate was 4.7% in April, down 0.1% from March.
New Mexico added 900 construction jobs in April, which resulted in a 2% employment growth rate that ranked sixth nationally. The state’s yearly construction employment growth rate of 8.3% — resulting from the 3,600 jobs the industry added during that time — ranked fifth nationally.
Construction posted the largest over the year percentage growth of any industry in New Mexico between April 2016 and April 2017, according to the state’s monthly employment report.
Despite the success in construction, the state’s unemployment rate remains unchanged from March at 6.7%, well above the national average.