ARLINGTON, Va. – Construction employment in Rhode Island rose six-tenths of a percent in March compared with the same period last year, adding 100 jobs for a total of 16,300 jobs, the Associated General Contractors of America reported Friday.
Rhode Island ranked 37th among the U.S. states and Washington, D.C., for highest percentage of jobs gained between March 2013 and March 2014.
Massachusetts, which added 2,300 jobs, or 1.9 percent, since March of last year, ranked 29th. Construction jobs in the Bay State totaled 122,700 in February, the AGC reported.
On a year-over-year basis, 38 states experienced growth in construction jobs in February, while 11 states and the District of Columbia lost jobs and one state (Alaska) maintained previous job levels. Florida led the country with an 11.5 percent increase, adding 41,000 jobs, followed by Oregon with an increase of 10.8 percent, or 75,800 jobs, and Minnesota, with an increase of 10.4 percent, or 10,200 jobs.
“The widespread gains in employment from a year ago are encouraging, given the tough winter many states experienced right through March,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the AGC. “The never-ending winter of 2014 may account for the dip in the number of states that added construction jobs in the latest month, but it is also possible that single-family homebuilders are not adding workers as some forecasters expected.”
On a monthly basis, between February and March, the AGC noted that construction employment increased in 24 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 23 states and held steady in three states. In Rhode Island, the industry’s month-over-month gain matched its year-over-year gain, adding 100 jobs or six-tenths of a percent.
Massachusetts posted a loss of 900 construction jobs between February and March, a decline of seven-tenths of a percent.