Construction employment increased in 39 states in April from a year earlier, while 29 states added construction jobs between March and April, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America today. Association officials cautioned that new tariffs on construction materials and unworkable rules for certifying the origin of materials could slow projects and hiring in many states.

“Demand for construction workers remains positive in a majority of states but there are risks to further gains,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Steeper tariffs and tighter restrictions on sourcing materials may lead to project cancellations and delays, imperiling job increases.”

Between April 2023 and April 2024, 39 states added construction jobs, while 11 states and the District of Columbia shed jobs. Texas added the most construction employees (30,500 jobs, 3.7 percent), followed by Florida (22,100 jobs, 3.5 percent), Michigan (16,100 jobs, 8.5 percent), and California (15,100 jobs, 1.7 percent). Alaska had the largest percentage increase over 12 months (18.0 percent, 3,000 jobs), followed by South Dakota (10.4 percent, 2,900 jobs), Arkansas (9.1 percent, 5,700 jobs), Michigan, and Nevada (8.5 percent, 9,500 jobs).

New York lost the most construction jobs during the past 12 months (-7,100 jobs, -1.8 percent), followed by Ohio (-6,700 jobs, -2.8 percent), Maryland (-6,400 jobs, -4.0 percent), and Colorado (-4,300 jobs, -2.3 percent). The largest percentage loss was in Maryland, followed by D.C. (-3.3 percent, -500 jobs), Ohio, and Colorado.

For the month, industry employment increased in 29 states, declined in 18 states and D.C., and was unchanged in Mississippi, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. Michigan added the largest number and percentage of jobs over the month (4,200 jobs, 2.1 percent). Other states with large monthly increases include Washington (3,100 jobs, 1.4 percent), Missouri (2,300 jobs, 1.5 percent), and New York (1,700 jobs, 0.4 percent). Other states with large percentage gains include Hawaii (1.7 percent, 700 jobs), Missouri, and Washington.

Ohio lost the most construction jobs from March to April (-7,600 jobs, -3.2 percent), followed by California (-6,000 jobs, -0.6 percent) and Iowa (-3,100 jobs, -3.2 percent). Iowa lost the highest percentage of jobs, followed by Ohio, West Virginia (-1.6 percent, -600 jobs), and New Mexico (-1.5 percent, -800 jobs).

Association officials said newly increased tariffs on steel, aluminum, and solar panels would add to project costs and may lead to cancellations that could hurt construction employment. They added that a survey the association released this week found most highway contractors stated that a proposed end to Buy America waivers would add to costs and delay federally aided projects, undermining the benefits of those projects.


“The Biden administration seems to be doing everything in its power to undermine the infrastructure investments it helped bring about,” Jeffrey D. Shoaf, the association’s chief executive officer, said. “The more money firms spend on construction materials and the longer it takes to get infrastructure projects green lit, the more construction employment will suffer.”


View April 2024 state employment data and 1-month and 12-month rankings. View the survey.