Over the last 12 months, and in tune with the national economy, states in the Southwest U.S. have been gaining jobs at a nation-leading pace, and June statistics reveal the trend is continuing.
“Construction is proving to be a reliable source of employment growth in nearly every state, and contractors are eager to hire even more workers,” says Associated General Contractors chief economist Ken Simonson in a release. “But finding qualified workers remains a significant challenge as other industries compete for talent, more workers reach retirement age, and fewer young adults chose to pursue careers in construction.”
Arizona and Nevada are among the states with the nation’s highest growth percentage of construction jobs.
According to the AGC, Arizona has gained more construction jobs than any other state percentage-wise from June 2017 to June 2018. Nevada is fourth in percentage increase over the same time period. New Mexico also posted a strong year-over-year percentage gain, ranking No. 11 in the nation.
Arizona’s construction industry gained 4,500 jobs, the highest gain of all industries in the state from May to June 2018, according to data released by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity. That is twice as many jobs as the second category, professional and business services.
Year-over-year, the construction industry added 14,800 jobs, or about 10.2%, which is tops in the nation based on percentage increase. According to non-seasonally adjusted data, 161,300 work in the construction industry in Arizona as of June 2018.
Some notable projects underway in the Grand Canyon State include the LGE Design Build headquarters in Phoenix, Orbital  and Intel campuses in Chandler and the Azure Mesa memory care facility.
According to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training And Rehabilitation, the state’s employment agency, non-seasonally adjusted construction jobs total 91,400 for June, including 67,800 in the specialty trade contracting field and 15,700 on construction of buildings. Construction employment is second only to manufacturing increases in Nevada year-over-year, 6,400 jobs, or 7.2%. The percentage increase is fourth in the nation, trailing only Arizona, Georgia and Michigan.
From May 2018 to June 2018, the construction industry gained 1,200 jobs.
The Silver State is experiencing a boom in major sporting, casino, transportation and commerce projects, including in its biggest city: Las Vegas Raiders Stadium, Las Vegas Convention Center expansion project, Resorts World International and a Sephora Warehouse.
Up north in Reno, developers are working on the Park Lane project, which will feature residential living, retail and a boutique hotel.
New Mexico
New Mexico saw mining and construction jobs increase by 2,700 jobs year-over-year from June 2017 to June 2018, according to the state Department of Workforce Solutions. According to the data, 48,300 are now employed in the construction industry in New Mexico in June 2018.
Year-over year, the state’s percentage increase in construction jobs is 6.2%, or No. 11 in the country. From May 2018 to June 2018, though, the state added 200 construction jobs.
The Land of Enchantment’s big projects for 2018 are the Facebook Data Center, several hospital expansions and major subdivisions in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.