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More Construction Employment Losses for the Midwest

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Thirty states added construction jobs in September, but Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin were not among them, according to year-over-year data compiled by Arlington, Va.-based Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

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By comparison, Indiana (+6,300 jobs, 5%) and Ohio (+1,000, 6%) remained in positive territory, as they have in previous month-over-month comparisons this year.

On a percentage basis, regional losses were greatest in Wisconsin (-5,300 jobs, -6.1%), followed by Illinois (-8,400 jobs, -4.4%), Missouri (-2,700 jobs, -2.6%) and Michigan (-3,000 jobs, -2.4%).

Among states losing construction jobs during the past year, Alaska lost the highest percentage (-2,400 jobs, -16.1%), followed by New Jersey (-13,400 jobs, -10.2%) and Nevada (-5,000 jobs, -9.4%).

The District of Columbia added the highest percentage of new construction jobs in September (1,500 jobs, 12.5%), followed by Nebraska (4,500 jobs, 11.1%) and North Dakota (2,800 jobs, 11.0 percent).

“Even though a good number of states added jobs in September, most states have a smaller construction workforce than they did a year ago,” says AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson. “Between the fiscal cliff, unset tax rates and declining public-sector investments, there are a lot of construction projects on hold as owners wait for a clearer picture of where the economy is heading.”

Recent programs in Illinois, including a 15-year, $12-billion overhaul of its tollway system and an initiative to upgrade sewer lines and water treatment plants, could be offset by waning state abd federal support for road projects, which are on pace to see a 40% decline in investment this year.

In May, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced cuts to Transforming Transportation for Tomorrow, his administration's new highway improvement program. About $9.2 billion is budgeted for the program for 2013 through 2018, as compared to $11.5 billion for 2012 through 2017.

 

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