Construction employment goes up in 39 states

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Construction employment increased in 39 states during the past 12 months, the most widespread gains since April 2012, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America using Labor Department data.

Association officials said action on infrastructure investments for water and transportation projects would help support continued employment growth for the industry.

“It is encouraging that three-quarters of the states are now adding construction jobs on a year-over-year basis,” Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said in a statement.  “Employment increases are still intermittent in too many states, however, and nearly all states are far below their pre-recession highs.”

Mississippi led all states with a 19 percent increase (9,300 jobs) in construction employment between October 2012 and October 2013.

Eleven states, including Virginia, and the District of Columbia, lost construction jobs. In Virginia, the number of jobs fell by 1,700, or 1 percent.

Indiana had the steepest percentage drop in construction employment with a loss of 11,800 jobs, for a 9.5 percent decrease.

The association, based in Arlington, urges Congress to include infrastructure funding as part of any final budget deal.

 “Congress has an opportunity to enact measures that will help put people back to work and make our economy more competitive for years to come,” Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s CEO, said in a statement. “Making our ports more efficient, our bridges safer and our roads less congested will allow American businesses to be more competitive, our products more affordable and our economy more robust.”

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