Georgia among leaders in construction jobs

Georgia added 12,400 construction jobs in the past year, growing that sector faster than most other states, according to an analysis of government data released today.

The state’s construction sector grew at a 7.5 percent clip, one of the ten-fastest growing construction sectors in the country, according to a calculation by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Georgia currently has about 178,700 construction workers. While that is up from a year ago, it is significantly down from the peak of the housing bubble a decade ago. That crest came in March, 2007 when the state had 224,000 construction workers.

Back then, construction accounted for 5.4 percent of all workers – more than one out of twenty. Now, its share is just 4.1 percent of the total.

The contractors group based its conclusions on Labor Department data.

Labor is becoming more mobile, said Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer for the association. “What is clear from the data is there is not one single labor market for the construction industry. Where demand is strong, labor is tight, and where demand is weak, labor conditions are better.”

Thirty-nine states added construction jobs between July 2015 and July 2016, the association reported.

The fastest growing construction sector is in Iowa, where the number of jobs grew 16.5 percent during the past 12 months. However, the total number of construction workers in Iowa is less than half that of Georgia.

Georgia has the fastest-growing construction sector in the South, according to the analysis.

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