The Construction Industry Lost Jobs (No Surprise) but it Gained Some Too (Surprise)


The announcement this week by major airlines and then by Disney that they will be laying off tens of thousands of workers is just the latest in what we already know: The coronavirus pandemic has adversely impacted workers around the world. And the construction industry is no exception, although its impacts have been uneven, and in some cases surprisingly good.

According to a report by the Associated General Contractors of America, 39 states lost construction jobs between August 2019 and August 2020 while 31 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between July and August 2020.

California saw the largest decline in construction jobs between August 2019 and August 2020, down 52,000 jobs or 5.8%, followed by by New York (-46,000 jobs/-11.3%), Texas (-39,300 jobs/-5.0%), Massachusetts (-20,200 jobs/-12.4%) and Illinois (-17,200/-7.5%).

As a proportion of its construction workforce, Vermont lost the highest percent of construction jobs between August 2019 and August 2020, down 29.6% or 4,500 jobs, followed by Massachusetts (12.4%/-20,200 jobs), Iowa (-11.8%/-9,300 jobs), Louisiana (-11.4%/-15,700 jobs) and New York (11.3%/-46,000 jobs).

Ten states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between August 2019 and August 2020. Utah added 8,800 jobs or 8.0%, followed by Virginia (4,400 jobs/2.2%), Maryland (3,800 jobs/2.3%), Indiana (3,100 jobs/2.1%) and Missouri (2,700 jobs/2.1%).

As a proportion of its construction workforce, South Dakota added the highest percent of construction jobs between August 2019 and August 2020, up 10.9% or 2,600 jobs, followed by Utah (8.0%/8,800 jobs), Idaho (2.4%/1,300 jobs), Maryland (2.3%/3,800 jobs) and Virginia (2.2%/4,400 jobs).

Based on data from this past monty, 19 states lost construction jobs in August with Nevada losing the most (-2,600 jobs/-2.8%) and Hawaii losing the highest percentage (-3.5%/-1,300 jobs).

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