Maps: Construction Labor Continues to Grow in August

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Originally Published by: NAHB — September 22, 2023
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Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 33 states and the District of Columbia in August compared to the previous month, while 17 states lost jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 187,000 in August, following a gain of 157,000 jobs in July.

On a month-over-month basis, employment data was strong in California, which added 23,100 jobs, followed by New York (+18,100), and North Carolina (+17,500). Seventeen states lost a total of 47,700 jobs with Missouri reporting the steepest job losses at 13,700.  In percentage terms, employment in Montana increased by 0.7% while Hawaii reported a 0.8% decline between July and August.

Year-over-year ending in August, 3.1 million jobs have been added, marking a more than full recovery of the labor market. Except for Mississippi and Rhode Island, all the other states and District of Columbia added jobs compared to a year ago. The range of job gains spanned 402,000 jobs in Texas to 1,400 jobs added in Vermont. Mississippi lost 700 jobs while Rhode Island lost 6,900 jobs on a year-over-year basis. In percentage terms, Nevada reported the highest increase by 3.9%, while Rhode Island decreased by 1.4% compared to a year ago.

Across the 48 states which reported construction sector jobs data—which includes both residential as well as non-residential construction— 31 states reported an increase in August compared to July, while 14 states lost construction sector jobs. Montana, Oklahoma, and Utah reported no change on a month-over-month basis. California added 4,700 construction jobs, while Tennessee lost 2,400 jobs. Overall, the construction industry added a net 22,000 jobs in August compared to the previous month. In percentage terms, Wyoming increased by 3.5% while Tennessee reported a decline of 1.6% between July and August.

Year-over-year, construction sector jobs in the U.S. increased by 212,000, which is a 2.7% increase compared to the August 2022 level. Texas added 21,100 jobs, which was the largest gain of any state, while Missouri lost 2,700 construction sector jobs. In percentage terms, Wyoming had the highest annual growth rate in the construction sector by 13.0%. Over this period, North Dakota reported a decline of 3.8%.