February Construction Employment Trails Pre-Pandemic Levels

Washington, DC, March 29, 2021-Construction employment in February remained below pre-pandemic levels in all but six states, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government employment data, while soaring materials costs and supply-chain problems threaten future employment. The association issued a Construction Inflation Alert detailing the problems and urged a rollback of tariffs and other supply impediments.

“Today’s figures show most states are still far from recovering the construction jobs lost a year ago,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “The overall economy is recovering, but huge price spikes and ever-lengthening delivery times threaten to set construction back further.”

The association’s new inflation alert documents a wide variety of materials undergoing steep and frequent price increases and delivery delays, Simonson noted. This combination threatens to hold up the start or completion of numerous projects and add to the downward pressure on construction employment, the economist warned.Texas lost the most construction jobs 12 months (-56,400 jobs or -7.2%), followed by New York (-41,100, -10%), California (-35,000, -3.8%), and Louisiana (-20,800, -15%). Louisiana experienced the largest percentage loss, followed by Wyoming (-14%, -3,200 jobs) New Jersey (-11%, -18,200), and New York. Utah added the most jobs (6,700, 5.9%), followed by Idaho (4,500, 8.2%), (3,300, 2.9%). Idaho added the highest percentage, followed by Utah. Construction employment decreased from January to February in 35 states, increased in 11 and was unchanged in four plus D.C. New York had the largest loss of construction jobs for the month (-15,600 or -4.1%), followed by Indiana (-6,100, -4.1%), Illinois (-5,600, -2.6%), and Iowa (-5,500, -6.9%). Iowa had the largest percentage decline, followed by Kansas (-4.9%, -3,100 jobs), New York, and Indiana. Utah added the most construction jobs and the highest percentage over the month (3,000 jobs, 2.5%, followed by South Carolina (2,200 jobs, 2.2%). 

Related Topics:Associated General Contractors of America