Connecticut construction jobs up slightly over past year

Published on Monday, 24 July 2017 22:20
Written by Angie DeRosa

Staff Writer

Twenty-five states, including Connecticut, saw construction jobs increase between May and June, according to data released recently by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Over the year ending in June, the state gained 1,500 jobs, a 2.5 percent increase.

California added the most jobs during the past year with 45,500, followed by Florida (32,400), Louisiana (15,600), Texas (14,400) and Oregon (11,200).

The data showed job gain and loss from June 2016 to April, May and June of this year.

Between June 2016 and April 2017, Connecticut picked up 2,800 construction jobs. From April to May it lost 500 jobs, but gained 200 in June.

Association officials said the small number of states adding workers in the latest month may indicate a shortage of qualified job seekers, rather than a slowdown in demand for construction.

“Contractors in most of the country say they have plenty of projects booked and would like to hire more workers if they could find them, so it is likely that some states with monthly employment declines have a shortage of workers available to hire rather than a slowdown in work,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the association. “Given the low unemployment rate in most states, other industries are competing hard for workers, making it difficult for contractors to find new construction workers, let alone experienced ones.”

The association also urged Washington officials to help address growing labor shortages in the construction industry by taking steps to expand training opportunities for students and young adults.

Examples include expanding investments in secondary career and technical education, making it easier to establish apprenticeship training programs in all market types and allowing for more charter schools and career academies that focus on construction skills.

“The need for more craft workers in fields like construction is growing every month,” Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer of the association, said. “There is a correspondingly urgent need to put in place measures that can expand training opportunities for people considering careers in construction.”

Posted in The Bristol Press, General News, Manufacturing on Monday, 24 July 2017 22:20. Updated: Monday, 24 July 2017 22:22.