The three-state Southwest region hit a hiring lull in January 2019, although Nevada and Arizona remain strong year-over-year.
According to seasonally adjusted data from the Associated General Contractors of America, Nevada was No. 9 in percentage gain of construction jobs from December 2018 to January 2019 at 2.2% on 2,000 jobs. From January 2018 to January 2019, or year-over-year, Nevada is No. 2 by percentage rank at 12.9% on 11,000 jobs. In Jan. 2019, 97,300 worked in the industry.
Arizona was No. 21 in month-to-month percentage gain at 1.1% on 1,900 jobs, also according to seasonally adjusted data from the AGC. The Grand Canyon state is ranked No. 4 year-over-year at 10.3% on 15,800 jobs. Year-over-year, Arizona is ranked No. 6 nationally in adding construction jobs. In Jan. 2019, 168,800 worked in the industry.
New Mexico had a 700 job gain year-over-year with 600 of those jobs added in January 2019.
Firms added employees in nearly all parts of the United States, says chief economist Ken Simonson of the Associated General Contractors of America. “These figures are consistent with the optimism contractors expressed about workloads and hiring plans in our association’s recent survey,” Simonson says, adding, "finding workers to execute those projects is likely to be an ongoing challenge.”
California added 28,500 construction jobs over the year, the most in the country, followed by Florida, Texas, West Virginia, New York and Arizona.
The Silver State had 97,300 construction jobs in January 2019, according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. The department says the construction industry experienced the fastest year-over-year growth rate of any industry sector and helped the state add a total of 3,800 jobs.
Las Vegas continues to lead the state in major projects, from the Raiders football stadium—and a headquarters in the state’s second-largest city, Henderson—the MSG Sphere and a planned facility for Brass Cap Companies near the Raiders stadium.
Up north in the Reno/Carson City, region, numerous school projects are keeping builders busy. Overall, Reno had the third-largest employment gain in 2018, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In January 2019, 166,100 were working in the construction industry in Arizona, according to non-seasonally adjusted data from the state Office of Economic Opportunity. The non-seasonally adjusted data shows the state experienced a loss of 1,200 construction jobs.
A majority of the major projects spurring growth in the Grand Canyon State are underway in Phoenix, including the PHX Sky Train, Wexford Science and Technology campus in downtown Phoenix, and a major residence hall on the Arizona State University campus. Further south in Tucson, Caterpillar has nearly completed a facility for its Surface Mining and Technology Division. Other major developments include the January 8th Memorial at El Presidio Park and renovation of the Pima County Courthouse.
The state had 46,800 people working in the construction industry. The oil and natural gas boom has benefitted five New Mexico counties, while considerable industrial projects are underway in the border community of Santa Teresa, which also hosts a port of entry.
Winner Vicki L. O’Leary visits construction sites such as the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement in Long Beach, Calif., spreading the gospel of preventing harassment and making jobsites receptive to a more diverse workforce.