NAHB’s analysis of August regional employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that states with the highest annual growth rates of total construction employment are Iowa (18.68%), Hawaii (12.25%), and Colorado (11.31%). The total number of workers in construction reached 6.7 million nationwide, up by 3.13% annually. At the same time, the largest construction jobs gains happened in California (29,300), Florida (22,000), and Colorado (16,800).
Thirty-six states experienced positive year-over-year changes in construction employment in August. On a month-over-month basis, around 50% of states reported gains in construction employment in August, with the largest increases registered by Wyoming (2.36%). Fourteen 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 fluctuating oil prices, such as Kansas, North Dakota, and Montana.
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 Montana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Wyoming, and North Dakota. The top three states with the largest gains were Oregon (3.31%), Idaho (3.27%), and Florida (3.19%).