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S.C. adds 800 construction jobs in December

Staff Report //January 27, 2020//

S.C. adds 800 construction jobs in December

Staff Report //January 27, 2020//

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South Carolina is among dozens of states that added jobs in the construction industry in December, capping a year of steady growth, according to an Associated General Contractors of America analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics.

The Palmetto State ranked 11th in the nation with 800 jobs added in December 2019, an 8% increase from November. Throughout 2019, the state saw a net gain of 3,500 jobs, an increase of 3.5%.

Texas added the most construction jobs in 2019 with 55,900, followed by California (31,300 jobs) and Florida (25,500). AGC found construction employment reached record high in Texas, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

“Construction employment consistently expanded in at least two-thirds of the states throughout 2019, even though contractors reported difficulty in finding qualified workers all year long,” Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist, said in a news release. “As long as they are able to continue finding qualified workers, most firms expect to continue hiring this year.”

In 2019, 16 states lost construction jobs, with Ohio losing the largest number at 9,000. Other states with job losses in 2019 included Louisiana (7,000), and Minnesota (3,600).

In its 2020 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook released in December, AGC found 81% of contractors surveyed said they were “having a hard time” filling salaried and hourly craft positions, but planned to add positions if they could find workers to fill them. The same survey listed the biggest concerns for 2020 as worker quality and worker shortages.

“While there appears to be plenty of demand for work this year, it is not certain there will be enough workers,” said Stephen Sandherr, AGC CEO. “Public officials can help more people start high-paying construction careers by simply exposing more young adults to the industry and allowing more workers into the country.”