AGC: Nearly half of U.S. adds construction jobs in April

By |  May 23, 2023


Construction employment increased in 42 states in April from a year earlier, while only 24 states added construction jobs from March to April, according to an Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) analysis of federal employment data.

Association officials say the monthly figures likely reflect the impact of low unemployment rates and workforce shortages as opposed to a drop in recent construction activity.

“Contractors continue to report strong demand for projects and have added employees in all but a handful of states over the past year,” says Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist. “The fact that employment dipped in April in half the states may reflect an inability to find qualified workers at a time of record-low construction unemployment, not a slowdown in demand.”


Between April 2022 and April 2023, 42 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs, while industry employment declined in seven states and held steady in Hawaii.

Texas added the most jobs over the 12-month span (28,000 jobs, up 3.6 percent), followed by New York (13,400 jobs, up 3.5 percent), Indiana (11,200 jobs, up 7.3 percent) and Florida (8,600 jobs, up 1.4 percent). Arkansas had the largest percentage increase (5,500 jobs, up 9.8 percent) followed by Rhode Island (1,600 jobs, up 7.6 percent), Indiana, Nebraska (3,900 jobs, up 6.8 percent) and Idaho (4,100 jobs, up 6.3 percent).

California lost the most jobs year over year (5,100 jobs, down 0.6 percent), while West Virginia had the largest percentage loss (1,200 jobs, down 3.7 percent). Losses also occurred in Connecticut (1,900 jobs, down 3.1 percent) and Colorado (700 jobs, down 0.4 percent).

For the month, construction employment increased in 24 states and D.C., declined in 26 states. Washington added the most jobs over the month (4,300 jobs, 1.8 percent), followed by Illinois (2,700 jobs, 1.2 percent), Wisconsin (2,600 jobs, 2.0 percent), and California (2,100 jobs, 0.2 percent). The largest percentage gains occurred in South Dakota (2.7 percent, 700 jobs), followed by Wisconsin, Washington, Arkansas (1.8 percent, 1,100 jobs), and Louisiana (1.4 percent, 1,800 jobs).

Texas experienced the largest decline in construction jobs from March to April (8,500 jobs, down 1.1 percent), followed by New York (4,000 jobs, down 1.0 percent) and Kentucky (1,600 jobs, down 1.8 percent). Alaska had the largest percentage loss for the month (700 jobs, down 4.2 percent), followed by Rhode Island (800 jobs, down 3.4 percent).

Factors at play

AGC officials note construction firms continue to pay premium wages that are above the national average for the overall economy to attract workers. But too few workers have been exposed to construction as a career opportunity, largely because federal officials spend only one dollar to support career and technical education for every five dollars they spend urging students to go to college, according to AGC.

Meanwhile, the association says gridlock on immigration issues has resulted in too few workers coming into the country who can lawfully work in construction.

“Public officials at the state and federal level don’t seem too eager to encourage students to pursue careers in fields like construction,” says Stephen Sandherr, AGC’s CEO. “If we want the workers, we need to rebuild our infrastructure and modernize our economy. We need to invest in construction-focused education.”

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About the Author:

Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor of Pit & Quarry and Editor-in-Chief of Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or

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