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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 »

3 Maps Showing Q4 2017 versus Q4 2016 Construction Employment Change in American States

March 20th, 2018 by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

Article source: ConstructConnect

This article features three maps showing relative rates of change in total number of construction jobs year over year for U.S. States. The not-seasonally-adjusted (NSA) background data on employment comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The year-over-year (y/y) percentage calculation for each state, which enables a ranking (within ranges) from fastest to slowest, is the three-month number-of-jobs average for Q4 2017 versus the three-month number-of-jobs average for Q4 2016.

The ‘legend’ sets out the ranges. The U.S. national average construction jobs growth was +3.5%.

In the maps, states where the y/y increase in on-site jobs from Q4 2016 to Q4 2017 exceeded +3.5% are colored green. There are four shades of green progressing from lightest (jobs growth of +3.6% to +5.0%) to darkest (+10.1% and higher.)

States where the y/y change in on-site construction jobs was +3.5% or less are indicated by blue shading. The two deepest shades of blue denote states where the y/y change was 0.0% or negative.


Map 1 has coloring for all states – with three exceptions. There is no date available from the BLS for Delaware, District of Columbia or Hawaii.

Map 2 is for only green-colored states and Map 3 is for only blue-colored states. The reason for separating the colors is that it helps to identify where there are significant groupings or clusters of moving-forward versus lingering-back states.

Map 2 highlights that the states with fastest increases in y/y construction jobs growth have been in the west and southwestern U.S.; in the industrial region south of the Great Lakes; and in three states bordering on the Gulf of Mexico (Florida, Alabama and Louisiana).

From Map 3, it’s apparent that the weakest performances of construction jobs change have been in the northern-middle of the country (except for Minneapolis); along much of the Atlantic coastline; and in Texas.

There are four states in the U.S. that are in a separate league for their high population counts – California, Texas, New York and Florida. (One in three Americans lives in one of those four states). With respect to construction jobs change, Q4 2016 to Q4 2017, California and Florida were ‘green’ states and Texas and New York were ‘blue’ states.

Map 2 records 27 states as having y/y construction jobs change above the national average.

Given that residential construction is such a big part of total construction (i.e., 40% according to the put-in-place capital spending figures published by the Census Bureau), to what extent did the 27 states in Map 2 benefit from new housing starts strength?

There were ten states in which above-average construction jobs growth (+3.6% y/y or more) aligned with above-average home starts growth (+7.0% y/y or more – see earlier 3-map article on U.S. housing starts, 2017 versus 2016): Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

There were a further seven states in Map 2 with above-average construction jobs growth (+7.0% or more) that were helped by solid increases (+4.0% to +6.0% y/y) in new home starts: Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington.

Name of this file: “Mar 20 18 – Infographic Commentary U.S. State Construction Jobs – Alex.docx” in Documents folder.

BLS data page:

Earlier 3-map article:

Category: ConstructConnect

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