flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

Construction employment declines in 20 states and D.C. in March, in line with industry survey showing growing job losses for the sector

Market Data

Construction employment declines in 20 states and D.C. in March, in line with industry survey showing growing job losses for the sector

New monthly job loss data foreshadows more layoffs amid project cancellations and state cutbacks in road projects as association calls for more small business relief and immediate aid for highway funding.

By AGC | April 17, 2020

Courtesy Pixabay

Construction employment declined in 20 states and D.C. in March, aligning with the results of a recent survey by the Associated General Contractors of America that found growing layoffs amid new project cancellations and state funding constraints. Association officials warned that these cancellations mean massive job losses are likely to occur soon in even more states unless Congress helps cover rapidly declining state revenues, adds funding for Paycheck Protection Program loans and takes other measures to help the industry recover.

“While construction employment declined in many parts of the country last month, far more states, local governments and project owners have halted construction in the five weeks since the government collected this data,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Our two latest surveys show a steep rise in cancellations of scheduled projects, which is leading to furloughs and terminations for both jobsite and office workers.”

The association released an analysis of new government data that showed construction employment decreased in 20 states and the District of Columbia. from February to March, held steady in six states and increased in 25 states. The economist noted the figures represented a rapid deterioration in a previously vibrant job market for construction. Over the 12 months ending in March, construction employment declined in only six states and D.C., held steady in two states, and increased in 41 states. He added that the data is based on employment as of March 12, before most states or owners began curtailing construction.

In the association’s latest online survey, conducted April 6-9, 53 percent of the 830 respondents reported that a project owner had ordered a halt or cancellation to a current or upcoming project. The share of respondents reporting cancellations jumped to 19 percent from 7 percent a week earlier, suggesting that the volume of work will shrink rapidly once current projects finish. Another impediment to construction—listed by 27 percent of respondents—comes from state and local officials who have ordered construction shutdowns.

The survey also found that 40 percent of respondents had furloughed or terminated workers by April 9, an increase from 31 percent just a week earlier. While 36 percent of firms reported furloughs or terminations of jobsite workers, layoffs also affected office and other workers at 18 percent of firms.

Association officials warned that construction job losses were likely to accelerate in many states amid the coronavirus pandemic. They added those job losses will get worse now that several states have canceled or significantly delayed planned highway projects because the pandemic has resulted in dramatic declines in gas tax revenues. They urged Congress and the Trump administration to provide funding to cover the lost revenue to protect existing jobs and make sure roads are repaired at a time when traffic is relatively light. They also urged Washington officials to invest more funds in the now-depleted Paycheck Protection Program and other forms of infrastructure.

“There is a historic opportunity to repair aging roads and other types of infrastructure,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Without more funding from Washington, government officials will not have the resources necessary to improve the nation’s infrastructure and protect tens of thousands of construction jobs.”

View the state employment data, rankings, and highs and lows.

Related Stories

MFPRO+ Research | Feb 27, 2024

Most competitive rental markets of early 2024

The U.S. rental market in early 2024 is moderately competitive, with apartments taking an average of 41 days to find tenants, according to the latest RentCafe Market Competitivity Report.

Construction Costs | Feb 22, 2024

K-12 school construction costs for 2024

Data from Gordian breaks down the average cost per square foot for four different types of K-12 school buildings (elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools, and vocational schools) across 10 U.S. cities.

Student Housing | Feb 21, 2024

Student housing preleasing continues to grow at record pace

Student housing preleasing continues to be robust even as rent growth has decelerated, according to the latest Yardi Matrix National Student Housing Report.

Architects | Feb 21, 2024

Architecture Billings Index remains in 'declining billings' state in January 2024

Architecture firm billings remained soft entering into 2024, with an AIA/Deltek Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score of 46.2 in January. Any score below 50.0 indicates decreasing business conditions.

Multifamily Housing | Feb 14, 2024

Multifamily rent remains flat at $1,710 in January

The multifamily market was stable at the start of 2024, despite the pressure of a supply boom in some markets, according to the latest Yardi Matrix National Multifamily Report.

Student Housing | Feb 13, 2024

Student housing market expected to improve in 2024

The past year has brought tough times for student housing investment sales due to unfavorable debt markets. However, 2024 offers a brighter outlook if debt conditions improve as predicted.

Contractors | Feb 13, 2024

The average U.S. contractor has 8.4 months worth of construction work in the pipeline, as of January 2024

Associated Builders and Contractors reported today that its Construction Backlog Indicator declined to 8.4 months in January, according to an ABC member survey conducted from Jan. 22 to Feb. 4. The reading is down 0.6 months from January 2023.

Industry Research | Feb 8, 2024

New multifamily development in 2023 exceeded expectations

Despite a problematic financing environment, 2023 multifamily construction starts held up “remarkably well” according to the latest Yardi Matrix report.

Market Data | Feb 7, 2024

New download: BD+C's February 2024 Market Intelligence Report

Building Design+Construction's monthly Market Intelligence Report offers a snapshot of the health of the U.S. building construction industry, including the commercial, multifamily, institutional, and industrial building sectors. This report tracks the latest metrics related to construction spending, demand for design services, contractor backlogs, and material price trends.

Industry Research | Jan 31, 2024

ASID identifies 11 design trends coming in 2024

The Trends Outlook Report by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is the first of a three-part outlook series on interior design. This design trends report demonstrates the importance of connection and authenticity.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021