The best construction employment gains since 2007 were posted by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) earlier this week. In recent year-over-year results, 28 states and the District of Columbia enjoyed job gains in construction, while two states remained stable and 20 others witnessed decline. When comparing month-over-month figures for January 2012, construction jobs rose in 35 states and D.C., according to the AGC’s analysis of Labor Department statistics. Leading the states in growth, Pennsylvania added 13,000 jobs and Tennessee had 12, 500 new construction employees in the 12 months leading up to Jan. 31, 2012. Florida experienced the biggest decline with 21,500 jobs lost in the yearly comparisons and 6,200 jobs disappearing this year during the month of January. California showed the best growth in the monthly analysis thanks to its 8,300 new construction jobs.

Although not all the news was good and private sector work is still outperforming public projects, the analysts at the AGC are optimistic. Notes AGC chief economist Ken Simonson: “There is accumulating evidence that construction has passed its low point in a majority of states.”