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|NH in Top 10 for Annual Increase in Construction Jobs|
|Published Tuesday, March 14, 2017|
National changes in construction employment in Jan. 2017. Photo: AGC
According to a report from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) in Virginia, NH was one of 39 states to add construction jobs between Jan. 2016 and Jan. 2017 and one of 38 states that added construction jobs between Dec. 2016 and Jan. 17.
According to an analysis of data collected by the Department of Labor, the Granite State added 1,500 construction jobs between Jan. 2016 and Jan. 2017, a 5.9 percent increase that ranked the state 10th in the country. Between Dec. 2016 and Jan. 17, NH added 600 jobs, a 2.3 percent increase that ranked the state 16th nationally.
Florida added the most construction jobs (36,400 jobs or 7.9 percent) during the past year and also added the most construction jobs (10,700 jobs, 2.2 percent) between Dec. 16 and Jan. 17. Oregon (10,000 jobs, 11.5 percent) added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year, while Louisiana (7,600 jobs, 5.3 percent) added the highest percentage of construction jobs during the first month of 2017.
Eleven states shed construction jobs between Jan. 2016 and Jan. 2017, with Mississippi losing the highest number of construction jobs (-2,200 jobs, -4.8 percent) and Alaska (-1,700 jobs, -10.1 percent) losing the highest percentage for the year.
Construction employment declined in 10 states during the first month of 2017 and was unchanged in two others. California shed more construction jobs than any other state (-6,900 jobs, -0.9 percent), while Nebraska (-1,200 jobs, -2.3 percent) lost the highest percentage of construction jobs between Dec. 16 and Jan. 17.
The AGC says that many firms report they are having a hard time finding enough qualified workers to hire as they work to keep pace with growing demand.
"Even as firms continue to find ways to expand their headcount, they are increasingly concerned about the lack of available, qualified workers," says Ken Simonson, chief economist for AGC. "There is only so much firms can do to attract the limited number of qualified workers before labor shortages begin to impact their operations."
Some of the measures recommended by AGC include boosting funding for career and technical education programs, making it easier for firms to set up regional training programs and making Pell grants eligible for career and community college programs.
"The growth in construction demand is outstripping the growth in the supply of qualified construction workers," says Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of the association. "Federal officials have a great opportunity to attract and prepare even more people for high-paying careers in construction that will cut unemployment and boost the economy."
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