R.I. ranks No. 49 in U.S., lowest in N.E. for construction job growth

Construction employment in Rhode Island dropped 4.4 percent in August compared with the same period in 2012, a year-over-year net loss of 700 jobs, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America. More

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R.I. ranks No. 49 in U.S., lowest in N.E. for construction job growth

BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/SIMON DAWSON
RHODE ISLAND'S 4.4 PERCENT year-over-year decline in construction jobs landed the Ocean State No. 49 in the country. On a monthly basis, Rhode Island added 100 construction jobs in August over July, an increase of 0.7 percent.
Posted 9/20/13

PROVIDENCE – Construction employment in Rhode Island dropped 4.4 percent in August compared with the same period in 2012, a year-over-year net loss of 700 jobs, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Rhode Island ranked No. 49 in the country for construction employment gains, joining 14 other states and the District of Columbia with a decline in construction jobs over the year. Only Indiana ranked lower, with a year-over-year net loss of 10,100 jobs, an 8.1 percent decrease in August compared with a year earlier.

In New England, Rhode Island was the only state to report negative job growth in the construction industry. Connecticut (No. 7) topped the region’s states with a 7.3 percent increase in construction jobs over the year, following by New Hampshire (No. 9) with 6 percent, Massachusetts (No. 17) with 4.1 percent and Maine (No. 22) with 3.5 percent.

Construction employment levels remained unchanged for the year in Vermont, which ranked No. 36 nationally.

Between July and August, Rhode Island added 100 construction jobs, an increase of 0.7 percent that landed the Ocean State at No. 21 nationally for month-over-month construction job growth.

In terms of one-month gains, Vermont (No. 2) came out on top with a 3.7 percent increase in construction jobs between July and August, followed by Connecticut (No. 4) with 3 percent, Massachusetts (No. 17) with 0.8 percent and Rhode Island.

Maine (No. 27) maintained its construction employment levels over the month, while New Hampshire (No. 44) reported a 2.1 percent month-over-month decline.

Construction employment increased in 26 states between July and August and in 35 states for the year, but Associated General Contractors of America officials cautioned that construction employment remains below peak levels in most states and warned of the potential impact of a halt in federal construction investments.

“While we would all like to see even more robust growth, it is encouraging that most states have a larger construction workforce today than they did a year ago,” said CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. “It will take a lot more growth, however, before construction employment levels return to their pre-recession levels in most places.”

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