By PBN Staff
By PBN Staff
ARLINGTON, Va. – Construction employment in Rhode Island rose 5.3 percent in October compared with the same period last year, adding 800 jobs for a total of 16,000 jobs, the Associated General Contractors of America reported Friday.
Rhode Island ranked 13th among the U.S. states and Washington, D.C., for highest percentage of jobs gained between October 2012 and October 2013.
Massachusetts, which added 6,300 jobs, or 5.5 percent, since October of last year, ranked 11th. Construction jobs in the Bay State totaled 121,300 in October, the AGC reported.
On a year-over-year basis, 39 states experienced growth in construction jobs in October while 11 states and the District of Columbia lost jobs. Mississippi led the country with a 19 percent increase, adding 9,300 jobs, followed by Connecticut with an increase of 11 percent, or 5,500 jobs, and Louisiana with an increase of 8.3 percent, or 10,700 jobs. By the numbers, Florida added the most new construction jobs over the past 12 months, with 26,600 jobs, followed by California with 26,000 jobs and Texas with 14,500 jobs.
“It is encouraging that three-quarters of the states are now adding construction jobs on a year-over-year basis,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, in the report. “Employment increases are still intermittent in too many states, however, and nearly all states are far below their pre-recession highs.”
On a monthly basis, between September and October, the AGC noted that construction employment increased in 32 states and decreased in 16 states and the District of Columbia. In Rhode Island, the industry experienced a 2.6 percent increase in construction employment over the month, a gain of 400 jobs.
Massachusetts posted a gain of 1,300 construction jobs between September and October, an increase of 1.1 percent.
Despite broad employment gains in construction, AGC officials cautioned that the industry’s recovery remains uneven and urged Congress to enact measures to help repair and upgrade aging water and transportation systems.
“Congress has an opportunity to enact measures that will help put people back to work and make our economy more competitive for years to come,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of the AGC. “Making our ports more efficient, our bridges safer and our roads less congested will allow American businesses to be more competitive, our products more affordable and our economy more robust.”