Construction employment rebounded in May in 45 states and D.C., according to an analysis of government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. The jump in employment follows the loss of nearly one million jobs in April, but may be short-lived, said AGC officials.
“The widespread uptick in construction employment in May is welcome news following a month in which industry employment shrank in all but one state,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Our association’s latest survey shows many firms have been recalling or adding employees in recent weeks, thanks in part to rapid receipt of Paycheck Protection Program loans. But only about one-fifth of firms report winning new or expanded projects, while almost one-third of firms say an upcoming project has been canceled.”
Of the 45 states with construction job gains over the month, Pennsylvania had the largest increase (77,400 jobs or 48.9 percent), said AGC. Michigan had the largest percentage increase (51.4 percent, 50,500 construction jobs). Construction employment declined from April to May in five states. Hawaii lost the largest number and highest percentage of construction jobs (-700 jobs, -1.9 percent).
From May 2019 to May 2020, 12 states added construction jobs while 38 states and D.C lost jobs. Utah added the most construction jobs over the year (8,200 jobs, 7.6 percent). South Dakota—the only state to add construction jobs in April—had the largest year-over-year percentage increase (10.3 percent, 2,400 jobs). Both states set new highs for construction employment, in a series dating to 1990. New York lost the most construction jobs over the year (105,300 jobs, -25.9 percent). The largest percentage decline occurred in Vermont (-26.1 percent, -4,000 jobs).
AGC warned that the long-term impacts of the pandemic are only now being appreciated. To avoid a second wave of job losses, the association urges Congress and the Trump administration to enact liability reform, pass new infrastructure funding measures and find a way to incentivize laid-off employees to return to work.
“The economic boost that comes with lifting economic lockdowns will not be enough to sustain long-term growth for the industry,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Boosting infrastructure spending, protecting firms that are operating safely and encouraging people to return to work will help convert short-term gains into longer-term growth.”
Sandy WilliamsRead more from Sandy Williams
Latest in Steel Markets
Canada adds ‘melt-and-pour’ requirement for steel imports
Canada will soon require steel imports to report “country of melt and pour” information.
Ternium CEO sees healthy demand buoying HRC price slide
Falling steel prices at present are not a symptom of demand but of imports arriving into the US and to some parts of Mexico, Ternium’s CEO Maximo Vedoya said this week.
GrafTech to curtail electrode capacity on weak demand, pricing
Weak demand and pricing for graphite electrodes combined with higher costs are forcing GrafTech to implement cost-cutting procedures and reduce production across its facilities.
CRU: Iron ore steady amid Chinese holidays
The iron ore market has been largely calm, with China observing the Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday period, while demand in Europe and JKT has been slow to pick up. Supply has been somewhat weaker, but overall, the price has held steady. Supply from Port Hedland remained unchanged w/w despite Roy Hill having no shipments […]
January import licenses at six-month high
Based on initial license data for January, steel imports appear to have risen to a six-month high, and flat-rolled steel imports to a seven-month high.