Construction employment rose in many states in June and declined at a smaller pace than a year ago in several other states, says a report from the Associated General Contractors released this week.
Compared to June 2009, construction employment increased in six states, the largest number of states to post year-over-year increases since October 2008, the report says. In many states, projects funded by federal stimulus money added to the construction job tally.
The largest year-over-year increase was in Kansas, where construction employment rose 7.7 percent (4,400 jobs), followed by Alaska (3.1 percent, 500 jobs); Arkansas (2.4 percent, 1,200 jobs); West Virginia (2.4 percent, 800 jobs); and New Hampshire (2.3 percent, 500 jobs).
"It is encouraging to see some states adding construction jobs and the declines in others getting less severe," said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the construction trade association. "But there's little room to celebrate with overall construction employment at a 14-year low and demand for most constructions services still weak."
In the Tri-Cities, the number of construction workers increased by 100 in June to bring the total to 6,400 --though it showed a decline of 600 construction jobs from June 2009.
The largest percentage job decrease compared with June 2009 was in Nevada, 24.4 percent (19,500 jobs), followed by Vermont, which had a decline of 18.5 percent, (2,500 jobs).
Wyoming showed a decline of 16.6 percent, (4,000 jobs) and Washington of about 14.3 percent (22,900 jobs). California lost the largest number of jobs (74,400 or 12 percent).