Forty-three states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs during the 2018 calendar year, according to data released by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). The upward trend reflects recent reports from the AGC, which have found that construction employment increased year over year in September, October, and November. AGC data also indicates 36 states added construction jobs between November and December, up from the 23 states which added jobs between October and November.
"The construction industry ended 2018 in good shape in nearly all parts of the country, and contractors are optimistic about the volume of work available in 2019," AGC chief economist Ken Simonson said. "But finding workers to execute those projects is likely to be a major challenge."
A recent AGC report found that nearly 80% of construction firms expect to add employees in the upcoming calendar year, but nearly the same amount of firms indicated they were having a hard time filling positions. Nearly two-thirds of respondents in the AGC survey anticipated having similar difficulties finding workers in 2019.
Texas, Florida, California, Georgia, and Arizona added the most construction jobs in pure numbers during 2018, while Connecticut, Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada, North Dakota, and Georgia added the highest percentage of jobs in 2018. AGC officials indicated construction employment reached record highs in Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas. South Carolina, Hawaii, Alaska, and Maine had the steepest percentage job loss in 2018.