Construction Employment on the Rise in Arizona

Jan 19, 2013, 7:34am MST

Arizona near top for construction job gains in 2012

Arizona added about 7,000 construction jobs in 2012. 
Kristena Hansen
Reporter-Phoenix Business Journal

Arizona added about 7,000 construction jobs in 2012.

Arizona posted the fourth-largest leap in construction employment in the nation last year, according to a new report by the Associated General Contractors of America.

The Grand Canyon State reported a total workforce of 119,800 in December last year versus 112,800 in December 2011, said the report, which is based on the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That gain of 7,000 workers was the fourth-biggest jump in the nation in terms of raw numbers, the report said.

The most job gains were in Texas (36,800), followed by California’s 24,500 and Washington state’s 9,000.

The additional 7,000 construction jobs across Arizona translated to a 6.2 percent year-over-year gain — ranking the state No. 6.

The largest growth as a percentage was Nebraska’s 10.1 percent gain, followed by the District of Columbia’s 7.3 percent and Texas’s 6.6 percent, the report said.

Overall, about half of all states saw their construction work forces grow in December.

“Construction spending has been rising for two full years but contractors have been cautious about adding workers until they knew the upturn would last,” Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said in the report. “In 2013, both residential and private nonresidential construction should rise enough to offset a further slowdown in public work, and contractors will be looking for more workers.”

Friday’s report, the association says, is right in line with the results of its 2013 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook report, which I also wrote about after its release on Monday.

Kristena Hansen covers residential and commercial real estate.

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