As the Southwest continues to play catch-up with the rest of the nation in recovering from the 2008-2011 downturn, Arizona and Nevada remain among the top states to add construction jobs year-over-year and month-over-month.
According to analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America, with 19,800 jobs gained Arizona trailed only Texas and Florida in total number of construction jobs added from April 2018 to April 2019. Arizona was No. 3 in percentage increase of new construction jobs from April 2018 to April 2019 with 12.7%. Nevada was No. 2 in percentage increase from April 2018 to April 2019 with 14.6%, trailing only West Virginia with 33.7%. New Mexico gained 5.3%, No. 13.
From March 2019 to April 2019, Nevada is No. 6 in the nation and Arizona is No. 7 in percentage increase of construction jobs. Nevada gained 2.5% and Arizona gained 1.8% construction jobs from March 2019 to April 2019. New Mexico is ranked No. 14 at 1%.
“Construction employment rose in most states over the past year, yet the record number of job openings at the end of March implies contractors would add even more workers if they could,” said chief economist Ken Simonson of the Associated General Contractors of America. He adds the count of states with rising construction employment in the latest month would be still higher if more workers were available.
Contractors face an ever-increasing challenge to find enough qualified workers to hire to keep pace with the ongoing construction demands, said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Allowing employers to bring in guest workers for positions that can’t be filled otherwise is essential for keeping needed construction on track.”
According to the state Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, the state gained 3,900 jobs from March 2019 to April 2019. A total of 175,100 are employed in the construction industry. Construction led all private sector employment gains in the state month-over-month: Leisure and hospitality was No. 2 at 2,400 jobs gained. Nearly all of the job gains month-over-month occurred in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
From April 2018 to April 2019, construction also leads the state in job gains with 20,200. Education is No. 2 year-over-year with 18,000 jobs gained.
Nevada in April 2019 had 101,800 people working in the construction and related industries, according to the state Dept. of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. The state gained 13,000 construction jobs between April 2018 and April 2019. That ranks No. 2 for percentage growth at 12.3% within the state, trailing manufacturing, 14%.
“I am pleased to see the positive numbers from April’s labor market report. Nevada’s has experienced year-over-year job gains for more than eight consecutive years and the unemployment rate, at (4%), is the lowest it’s been since April of 2006,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said.
The Dept. of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation also released analysis of The Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Program, and the 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau which allow for the analysis of occupations and employment by gender. According to the department, construction is No. 2 of percentage of men at 79%, trailing only mining, oil and gas at 85.4%.
In New Mexico, construction jobs increased by 1,400 between March and April of this year.
In April, New Mexico listed 50,100 working in the construction industry.