Louisiana added the largest number and percentage of construction jobs of all 50 states in October, the Associated General Contractors of America announced today.
The state saw an addition of 8,200 jobs, an increase of 7.1%. California was second in job gains, adding 7,500 for a 0.8% increase.
Only 16 states and the District of Columbia have added jobs since the start of the pandemic. While construction activity picked up in October, construction job numbers overall are below pre-pandemic numbers in most states, says Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist.
And while Louisiana’s uptick in construction jobs sounds good, some sectors are still lacking. The local industrial construction sector has had a problem finding entry-level workers, and industrial projects getting pushed back into next year has some worried about a major worker shortage in 2022.
Since the pandemic began, Texas has lost the most construction jobs, at 46,400, and Utah has added the most, with 8,200.
The association adds that the Biden administration’s Build Back Better bill, which passed the House today, could dampen the construction industry’s recovery. The bill’s tax and labor provisions could slow investments in construction and make it harder for employers to find qualified workers, association officials say.