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Ill., Ind. See Construction Employment Gains Amid 'Choppy' Recovery

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Illinois and Indiana trailed only Florida in monthly construction employment gains in June, adding 3,500 jobs (1.8%)  and 2,700 jobs (2.2%) respectively, according to data compiled by Arlington, Va.-based Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

Both states also posted gains in year-over-year comparisons, with Illinois adding 7,300 jobs (3.8%) and Indiana adding 3,800 jobs (3.1%).

Other Midwest states didn't fare as well. While Michigan saw solid year-over-year gains (3,300 jobs, 2.5%), it lost 1,600 jobs (-1.2%) jobs in month-to-month comparisons. Missouri (-1,000 jobs, -0.9%), Ohio (-700 jobs, -0.4%) and Wisconsin (-200 jobs, -0.2%) logged more modest losses during the same period.

In all construction employment increased in 38 states and Washington, D.C., in year-over-year comparisons, but declined in 27 states from May to June, according to AGC data.

“The overall trend in construction employment remains favorable, with three-fourths of states adding jobs on a year-over-year basis,” says AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson. “But the recovery remains choppy, not steady. In June, monthly gains occurred in fewer than half the states and the nation added just 6,000 construction jobs.”

A retreat in construction spending in June and spike in construction employment in July (22,000 jobs) further reflect the uneven nature of the recovery, circumstances AGC officials partly attribute to uncertainty about federal funding for a range of infrastructure and construction programs.

“While prospects for private construction remain largely favorable, inadequate public investment still threatens to keep too many workers idle,” Simonson says. “For the first half of 2014, private spending climbed at double-digit rates, while public construction shrank. I expect both patterns to continue.”

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