Twenty-five states and Washington, D.C., added construction jobs in August, and construction employment is down in 39 states since February 2020 as the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads, according to www.agc.org.
“Construction employment slipped or stagnated from July to August in half the states as the Delta variant of COVID-19 affected workers and caused some owners to delay projects,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America. “In addition, more than half of the respondents in our latest workforce survey reported experiencing projects that have been canceled, postponed, or scaled back.”
Nevada added the most construction jobs from July to August—3,000—and New Hampshire had the largest percentage increase of construction jobs for the month—4.4%. Kansas lost the largest number of construction jobs (-2,400) and the highest percentage of construction jobs (-3.7%) for the month.
Eleven states and Washington, D.C., added construction jobs from February 2020 to August. Utah added the most jobs—7,400—and South Dakota had the largest percentage increase during that period—7.1%. Texas lost the most construction jobs from February 2020 to August (-56,700 jobs), and Wyoming had the largest percentage decline (-16.6%).
Association officials warned construction employment is being affected in much of the U.S. because of supply chain challenges and growing market uncertainty caused by the Delta variant. They said new federal infrastructure investments would provide a needed boost in demand and help put more people to work in construction careers.