Currently, one of the biggest challenges for builders is the shortage of skilled residential construction labor, but in states in New England and the Pacific Division, overall construction employment is growing relatively faster than elsewhere in the country, according to the Regional and State Employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and reported by Na Zhao for the National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog.

According to NAHB’s analysis of February regional employment data from the BLS, Hawaii had the highest annual growth rates of total construction employment at 19.09%, followed by Rhode Island (14.63%), Massachusetts (10.97%), New Hampshire (10.17%), and Tennessee (8.80%).

Forty-three states and District of Columbia experienced positive year-over-year changes in construction employment in February, compared to forty-four states three months ago. Seven states lost construction jobs in February 2016. The largest construction job losses were recorded by the energy producing states, which are deeply affected by the plunging oil prices, such as North Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming. On a month-over-month basis, around 60% of states reported gains in construction employment in March, with the largest increases registered by Washington (3.10%).

Read more >