Seasonally adjusted construction employment increased from October 2018 to October 2019 in 41 states and the District of Columbia, declined in eight states and was unchanged in Colorado, according to an analysis by Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Texas added the most construction jobs (51,400 jobs, 6.9 percent), followed by California (34,400, 4 percent), Florida (25,300, 4.6 percent), Arizona (14,400, 8.9 percent) and Nevada (12,000, 13 percent). Nevada added the highest percentage of construction jobs, followed by New Mexico (11 percent, 5,300), Arizona, New Hampshire (8.1 percent, 2,200) and Arkansas (7.6 percent, 3,800). Construction employment reached new highs (in records dating back to 1990) in Nebraska, Texas, Utah and Washington. Louisiana lost the largest number and percentage of construction jobs over 12 months (-9,700, -6.4 percent), followed by Ohio (-8,600, -3.9 percent) and Tennessee (-3,800, -2.9 percent). Construction employment rose from September to October in 28 states, decreased in 19 and was flat in D.C., Delaware, Maine and Missouri. AGC’s rankings are based on seasonally adjusted data, which in D.C., Hawaii and Delaware is available only for construction, mining and logging combined.
Housing starts (units) in October increased 3.8 percent at a seasonally adjusted annual rate from September and 8.5 percent year-over-year from October 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. Multifamily (five or more units) starts rose 6.8 percent from September and 11 percent year over year, although the data are typically volatile and often substantially revised in later months, according to AGC. Single-family starts increased 2 percent for the month and 8.2 percent year over year. For the first 10 months of 2019 combined, total starts slipped 0.6 percent compared to January to October 2018, with single-family starts down 1.3 percent and multifamily starts up 1.5 percent. Residential permits climbed 5 percent for the month and 14 percent year over year. Multifamily permits jumped 6.1 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Single-family permits rose 3.2 percent and 7.4 percent. Multifamily permits in the first 10 months of 2019 combined totaled 388,000, 25 percent higher than year-to-date starts, implying there is a backlog of projects that may break ground in the next several months.