Construction Employment Falls in 26 States from June to July

COVID-19 continues to slow the construction industry, limiting sustained growth.

Jung Getty/Getty Images

According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction employment added 20,000 new jobs across the United States from June to July. But the employment picture was much less rosy at the state level with 26 states posting job losses, the largest in California, Texas and Florida.

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The coronavirus is still impacting the industry at large. Four of the five states that lost the most construction jobs in the last year are also still experiencing high levels of new coronavirus cases, according to the latest data on the pandemic from The New York Times. In New York, the state that added the most construction jobs from June to July, new reported daily cases have dropped dramatically since the start of the pandemic.

Renewed outbreaks of coronavirus in numerous states likely caused many project owners and investors to pull back on planned construction, said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America.

While an overall increase of 20,000 jobs across the country is undoubtedly a positive sign of growth, the construction industry remains well below pre-coronavirus employment levels.

“Despite job gains over the last three months, construction has lost 444,000 jobs since employment reached a peak in February,” reads the monthly employment report from the BLS. “The uptick in July employment represents a continued recovery from losses earlier in the year and follows strength in residential building permits and new home sales in June.”

States That Lost the Most Construction Jobs:

  • California: -14,800
  • Texas: -6,300
  • Florida: -6,300
  • Illinois: -3,300
  • New Mexico: -2,900

States That Gained the Most Construction Jobs:

  • New York: +13,600
  • Missouri: +4,400
  • Maryland: +2,600
  • Michigan: +2,600
  • New Jersey: +2,400