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Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect
Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect
Alex Carrick is Chief Economist for ConstructConnect. He is a frequent contributor to the Daily Commercial News and the Journal of Commerce. He has delivered presentations throughout North America on the Canadian, United States and world construction outlooks. A trusted and often-quoted source for … More »

Rankings of U.S. State Construction Employment Statistics

 
January 8th, 2018 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

Article source: ConstructConnect

The tables accompanying this article highlight some of the key statistics on construction employment in 48 U.S. States. The source material from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) omits Delaware, the District of Columbia (D.C.) and Hawaii. The most recent data is for November 2017 and is not seasonally adjusted (NSA).

2018-01-05-US-Construction-Labor-Graphic

Table 1 ranks states by number of construction workers; Table 2 ranks states by year-over-year change in number of construction workers; and Table 3 ranks states by year-over-year percentage change in number of construction workers.

It’s not surprising that the large-population-states also account for the highest numbers of construction workers. The ranking positions 1 through 7 in Table 1 − i.e., California followed by Texas, Florida, N.Y., Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio − exactly correspond with the latest (for July 1, 2017) state population rankings.

Further down the listing, however, there are some significant variances. For example, Georgia is 8th for population, but 11th for construction employment; Michigan is 10th for population, but 13th for construction employment; New Jersey is 11th for population, but 15th for construction employment; Washington is 13th for population, but 9th for construction employment; Maryland is 19th for population, but 12th for construction employment; Colorado is 21st for population, but 14th for construction employment; and Louisiana is 25th for population, but 17th for construction employment.

A main conclusion to be drawn from the above set of numbers is that Washington, Maryland, Colorado and Louisiana are ‘punching above their weight’ in construction employment.

On the flip side, Georgia, Michigan and New Jersey are not holding their own with respect to on-site work relative to residency counts.

Table 1: U.S. States – Construction Employment
November 2017 – Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA)

Rank State No. of Workers
1 California 841,800
2 Texas 733,000
3 Florida 530,800
4 New York 388,300
5 Pennsylvania 253,100
6 Illinois 220,600
7 Ohio 219,200
8 North Carolina 202,800
9 Washington 200,400
10 Virginia 194,200
11 Georgia 181,400
12 Maryland 170,400
13 Michigan 168,800
14 Colorado 162,900
15 New Jersey 160,200
16 Massachusetts 158,500
17 Louisiana 154,800
18 Indiana 142,400
19 Arizona 142,200
20 Minnesota 125,600
21 Tennessee 123,600
22 Missouri 118,000
23 Wisconsin 115,600
24 Oregon 103,800
25 Utah 100,100
26 South Carolina 98,300
27 Alabama 91,500
28 Nevada 90,500
29 Oklahoma 83,400
30 Kentucky 83,300
31 Iowa 77,700
32 Kansas 63,900
33 Connecticut 59,000
34 Arkansas 53,100
35 Nebraska 51,200
36 New Mexico 47,600
37 Idaho 45,300
38 Mississippi 43,900
39 West Virginia 33,900
40 North Dakota 32,000
41 New Hampshire 29,300
42 Maine 29,200
43 Montana 27,900
44 South Dakota 23,600
45 Rhode Island 22,300
46 Wyoming 20,900
47 Vermont 16,100
48 Alaska 15,400
Data source (which does not include Delaware, District of Columbia or Hawaii): U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Table: ConstructConnect.

Table 2 spotlights that California (+44,300) and Florida (+43,700) are almost in a tie for largest numerical gain in construction employment over the past year. Both states are well ahead of third-place Texas (+23,200).

While it’s a further sizable step down to ranking positions four and five in Table 2, Nevada and Pennsylvania should still be pleased with their year-over-year construction jobs gains of +10,200 and +10,100 respectively.

Table 2: U.S. States – Change in Construction Employment
Nov 2017 vs Nov 2016 – Based on NSA Data

Rank State + / – No. of Workers
1 California 44,300
2 Florida 43,700
3 Texas 23,200
4 Nevada 10,200
5 Pennsylvania 10,100
6 New York 9,900
7 Louisiana 9,800
8 Washington 9,500
9 Oregon 9,100
10 Massachusetts 8,900
11 Arizona 8,300
12 Indiana 8,100
13 Maryland 7,100
14 Alabama 6,600
15 Oklahoma 6,400
16 Colorado 6,300
17 Ohio 6,100
18 Minnesota 5,400
19 Virginia 5,200
20 Utah 4,900
21 Tennessee 4,800
22 New Jersey 4,600
23 Kentucky 3,600
24 Michigan 3,300
25 Arkansas 3,000
25 New Mexico 3,000
27 Idaho 2,700
27 Rhode Island 2,700
29 New Hampshire 2,300
29 West Virginia 2,300
31 Kansas 2,100
32 Georgia 2,000
33 Wisconsin 800
34 Maine 700
35 Alaska 600
36 Mississippi 400
36 Vermont 400
38 South Dakota -100
39 Wyoming -200
40 Illinois -300
40 South Carolina -300
42 Connecticut -600
43 Montana -700
44 Nebraska -1,300
45 North Dakota -2,200
46 North Carolina -2,300
47 Iowa -6,900
48 Missouri -7,000
Data source (which does not include Delaware, District of Columbia or Hawaii): U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Table: ConstructConnect.

Table 3 on year-over-year percentage gains in construction employment features, at the top, some states already mentioned – i.e., Nevada in 2nd spot, at +12.7%, and Florida in 4th, at +9.0% − but also several newcomers that have not appeared in the discussions so far.

Rhode Island has had an outsized jump of +13.8%, but the level of construction in that state remains low (only 22,300). The same can be said for New Hampshire, +8.5%, but relative to a low base (less than 30,000 construction workers).

More impressive have been the results for Oregon, Oklahoma and Alabama, at +9.6%, +8.3% and +7.8% respectively. Those three states have construction employment ranging from 80,000 to 100,000. (Nation-wide, the year-over-year increase in construction jobs in November 2017 was +2.7%.)

Table 3 also reveals those states where there have been year-over-year percentage declines in construction employment. Five (or half) of the ten states with losses are situated in the center of the country – Iowa, -8.2%; North Dakota, -6.4%; Missouri, -5.6%; Nebraska, -2.5%; and South Dakota, -0.4%. (Illinois, at -0.1%, is being assessed as flat.)

From a construction employment standpoint, some of those Midwest states would benefit from a start-up of work on the Keystone XL pipeline expansion.

As a last point of interest, states generally display seasonality in their construction employment dependent on their locations, north versus south. In northern states, snow and icy conditions from December through March can delay or put a hold on field work and job site opportunities.

In the south, there can be the extremes of hurricanes and tornadoes, but they don’t arrive with the several-months-long predictability of winter.

There are three southern states that, since 2000, have exhibited virtually no seasonality in construction employment: Arizona, Florida and Nevada.

There have been nine other mainly southern states that have shown little seasonality in the provision of construction jobs: Alabama, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

Table 3: U.S. States – % Change in Construction Employment
Nov 2017 vs Nov 2016 – Based on NSA Data

Rank State % Change No. of Workers
1 Rhode Island 13.8%
2 Nevada 12.7%
3 Oregon 9.6%
4 Florida 9.0%
5 New Hampshire 8.5%
6 Oklahoma 8.3%
7 Alabama 7.8%
8 West Virginia 7.3%
9 Louisiana 6.8%
10 New Mexico 6.7%
11 Idaho 6.3%
12 Arizona 6.2%
13 Arkansas 6.0%
13 Indiana 6.0%
15 Massachusetts 5.9%
16 California 5.6%
17 Utah 5.1%
18 Washington 5.0%
19 Kentucky 4.5%
19 Minnesota 4.5%
21 Maryland 4.3%
22 Pennsylvania 4.2%
23 Alaska 4.1%
24 Colorado 4.0%
24 Tennessee 4.0%
26 Kansas 3.4%
27 Texas 3.3%
28 New Jersey 3.0%
29 Ohio 2.9%
30 Virginia 2.8%
31 New York 2.6%
32 Maine 2.5%
32 Vermont 2.5%
34 Michigan 2.0%
35 Georgia 1.1%
36 Mississippi 0.9%
37 Wisconsin 0.7%
38 Illinois -0.1%
39 South Carolina -0.3%
40 South Dakota -0.4%
41 Wyoming -0.9%
42 Connecticut -1.0%
43 North Carolina -1.1%
44 Montana -2.4%
45 Nebraska -2.5%
46 Missouri -5.6%
47 North Dakota -6.4%
48 Iowa -8.2%
Data source (which does not include Delaware, District of Columbia or Hawaii): U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Table: ConstructConnect.

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