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Construction Employment In December Trails Pre-Pandemic Levels In 34 States As Pandemic Continues To Disrupt Demand For Many Projects

January 26, 2021

Texas and Vermont Have Worst February-December Losses While Virginia and Alabama Add the Most; Arizona, Delaware Have Worst One-Month Job Losses As California, New Hampshire Top Other States

Construction employment in December remained below pre-pandemic levels in two-thirds of the states even though 37 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs from November to December, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government employment data released today. Association officials said the new data highlights how broadly the industry has been impacted by the pandemic and underscores the need for additional coronavirus recovery measures.

“While most states recorded construction employment gains in December, the pickup is likely to be temporary for many,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Participants in our association’s recent Hiring and Business Outlook Survey expect the dollar volume of most project types available to bid on to decline in 2021.”

The survey, which included responses from more than 1,300 contractors in every state and D.C., asked about prospects for 16 categories of projects. On balance, respondents expect growth only for non-hospital health care, such as clinics, testing and screening facilities, and medical laboratories; warehouses; and water and sewer projects.

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