Arizona, California, Florida, other states still haven’t regained construction jobs lost in last downturn

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

Texas, California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada have added the most construction jobs in the country over the past 12 months, according to the Associated General Contractors industry group.

But only one of those states (Texas) has actually gotten back to peak employment levels compared to the last real estate cycle.

AGC looked at construction employment levels between 1990 and October 2019.  Only four states (Texas, Utah, Nebraska and Washington state) are at now at peak construction employment levels in that time frame.

Most states, including Arizona, are still well off the number of construction jobs they had during the last real estate cycle.

Arizona has added 14,400 construction jobs the past 12 months, according to AGC. That brings the state’s construction employment base 176,800 workers. That is still 66,800  (or 27 percent) less than the 243,600 construction jobs in Arizona in June 2006 during the last real estate cycle.

The same trend holds in California, Florida and Nevada.

California has added 34,400 construction jobs the past 12 months and now has 903,100 jobs in the industry statewide. The Golden State had 945,100 construction jobs in June 2006. That puts California with 42,000 fewer construction jobs now.

Florida, which like Arizona continues to see population growth and new apartment construction, has added 25,300 construction jobs the past 12 months. The growth brings the total number of construction workers in Florida to 572,500, according to AGC. That is still down 119,200 fewer jobs than in April 2006 when there were 691,700 construction jobs there.

Nevada, which has seen construction employment driven by construction of the new Raiders NFL stadium as well as some big transportation projects, now has 103,700 construction jobs after gaining 12,000 jobs the past year. That is still down 42,700 jobs from April 2006 when there were 146,100 jobs in Las Vegas, Reno and other parts of the state.

The only state in the group breaking the trend is Texas which reached has hit peak construction employment this past month with 796,300 jobs. Texas has added 51,400 jobs the past 12 months.

The construction industry continues to struggle to fill jobs in Arizona and other states though some of the decrease in employment totals may also stem from automation and technology reducing the need for some workers.

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November 2019