Construction employment increase in 26 states between July 2010 and July 2011, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of employment data released by the Labor Department.
The largest percentage increase in construction employment during the past year was in North Dakota (19 percent, 4,000 jobs). Other states with large percentage jumps included Illinois (8.2 percent, 15,400 jobs), Michigan (8 percent, 9,600 jobs), and Oklahoma (6 percent, 4,000 jobs.). Texas added the most jobs during the period (23,800 jobs, 4.2 percent), followed by Illinois, California (13,100 jobs, 2.4 percent), and Michigan.
Twenty-three states lost construction jobs during the past 12 months, led by Georgia (9.9 percent, a 14,800-job loss). Other states with large percentage drops included New Mexico (-8.9 percent, -3,900 jobs); Colorado (-8.6 percent, -9,800 jobs) and Idaho (-7.9 percent, -2,400 jobs).
Contractors around the country reported that they have been forced to reduce staff because of cutbacks in many federally funded construction projects. They urged President Obama to focus on out-of-control entitlement spending instead of cutting construction and infrastructure spending.