This article originally appeared on Remodeling.
Forty-two states and the District of Columbia have added construction jobs between November 2017 and November 2018, according to data released by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). The pattern follows findings from September and October, which both saw more than forty states and D.C. experience rises in construction-related jobs year over year. Supplemental data released by AGC found construction employment grew in 74% of metro areas between November 2017 and November 2018.
AGC data also suggests that 23 states added construction jobs between October and November, down from the 36 states which added jobs between September and October. AGC officials said low unemployment rates in most of the nation have made it hard for contractors in many states to continue to add workers even amidst strong demand for projects.
“November was the first month this year in which fewer than half the states experienced monthly increases in construction employment,” AGC chief economist Ken Simonson said. “At a time when job openings are at record highs, the recent slowdown in hiring in some states may indicate contractors are unable to find qualified workers, rather than a slackening in demand for construction.”
Construction job openings were up 25% year over year according to Simonson, and the number of unemployed jobseekers with construction experience was at the lowest level in recent reports.
Texas, Florida, California, Arizona, and Georgia added the most construction jobs in the past year in pure numbers, while Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada, North Dakota, and Connecticut added the highest percentage of jobs in the past year. AGC officials indicate construction employment in Nebraska, New York, Oregon, and Texas reached record highs.
From its supplemental report on construction jobs in metro areas across the U.S., AGC officials said that construction employment growth remains widespread, but because unemployment levels are at historic lows in some areas, contractors are having a hard time filling positions. As a result, growth may taper off despite high demand.
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas, Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz., Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas, and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla., added the most construction jobs in pure numbers in the past year while Weirton-Steubenville, W.V.-Ohio, New Bedford, Mass., and Lewiston, Idaho-Wash., saw the largest percentage gain in the past calendar year.
AGC officials said the high level of job openings in construction points to the urgency of implementing effective career and technical education programs to enable workers to get jobs in fields such as construction.