Florida leads U.S. construction jobs growth

November 5, 2018 3:08 pm

Florida leads U.S. construction jobs growth, the latest data shows.

The number of construction jobs in the Sunshine State rose 14.8% or 70,700 in the year to September 2018 to 550,000. That is according to figures from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

Florida leads U.S. construction jobs growth

In September 2018, Florida added 1,600 construction jobs, a rise of 0.3%.

In total, 45 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs over the year. Also, 29 states and D.C. added construction jobs during September 2018.

The continued job gains are a sign of an exceptional business environment. However, that difficulty in hiring qualified craft workers could increase contractors’ costs and extend construction times, the AGC points out.

AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson, says, “Construction activity is expanding nearly everywhere, as only three states experienced a decline in construction employment over the past year.

“These results show that contractors remain upbeat about demand for projects going forward. However, further employment gains may be difficult, given low unemployment in most states and an inadequate pipeline for training future construction workers.”

Four in five construction firms said in August 2018 that they were having trouble hiring hourly craftsmen. In addition, 81% expected that hiring would remain difficult or become harder.

In response, the association called for public officials to implement immigration reform. It also wants double federal funding for career and technical education programs. This would make more students aware of career opportunities in construction.

Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC’s chief executive officer, says, “These data show that construction offers high-paying opportunities for both new workers and ones looking to change careers.

“Exposing more students and young adults to career opportunities in construction and providing them with some initial training will put more people into rewarding careers in construction.”

Source: https://www.agc.org/news/2018/10/19/construction-employment-rises-september-2017-september-2018-45-states-and-dc-29