NAHB’s analysis of July regional employment data from the BLS shows that states with the highest annual growth rates of total construction employment are Iowa (16.52%), Hawaii (12.89%), Idaho (12.63%), and Colorado (10.88%), compared to the national average growth rate of 4.55%.
Thirty-nine states and District of Columbia experienced positive year-over-year changes in construction employment in July. On a month-over-month basis, around 50% of states reported gains in construction employment in July, with the largest increases registered by Idaho (4.65%). Eleven states lost construction jobs since a year ago. The largest construction job losses were recorded by the energy producing states, which are deeply affected by low oil prices, such as North Dakota, Wyoming, and Kansas.
The number of new residential housing starts depends on both supply and demand considerations. Housing supply is dependent, in part, on the ability of builders to obtain and contract with workers.
Regional employment is an important element of determining housing demand. The BLS state level data suggest that all but six states reported an annual gain in payroll employment, with the exception of West Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Wyoming, and North Dakota. The top three states with the largest gains were all in the West and include Idaho (3.37%), Oregon (3.27%), and Florida (3.09%).