- Construction employment increased in 45 US states in February 2023 compared to the previous year, with Texas seeing the most significant growth and West Virginia experiencing the largest decline.
- The Associated General Contractors of America is urging Congress and the Biden administration to address staffing shortages by increasing funding for career and technical education and easing restrictions on foreign workers with construction experience.
Based on an analysis of federal employment data by the Associated General Contractors of America, construction employment in February 2023 increased in 45 states compared to the same period in the previous year.
Texas experienced the most significant growth, adding 37,900 jobs, or 5%. Conversely, West Virginia had the largest decline, losing 2,200 jobs, or 6.5%, during the same time frame. From January to February 2023, construction employment increased in 24 states, remained stable in six, and decreased in 20 states and Washington, DC.
The AGC’s chief economist, Ken Simonson, suggested that unfavorable weather conditions may have hindered construction activity in some states in February. Still, construction employment continued to grow in most regions compared to a year earlier, despite a slump in homebuilding.
AGC Urges Congress and Biden Administration To Address Staffing Shortages & Construction Employment Issues In Industry
Construction employment remains a critical issue for the industry, as most firms struggle to find enough workers to keep pace with demand. Due to staffing shortages, many contractors are refraining from bidding on projects, leading to delivery delays and unfinished work.
To address this challenge, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) has urged Congress and the Biden administration to increase funding for career and technical education and ease restrictions on foreign workers with construction experience entering the country legally.
Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Presents Opportunities and Challenges for the Construction Industry
While the Department of Labor has launched initiatives to train and employ women and minorities, underrepresented groups in construction, the industry still faces a significant employment gap. With the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) expected to push demand higher, builders will continue to compete over a limited pool of staff, leading to further staffing shortages and delays.
Despite the challenges, the IIJA presents an opportunity for workers seeking good-paying jobs to enter the construction industry and realize a promising career path.