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California adds most construction jobs

Thirty-six states added construction jobs between August 2015 and August 2016, while construction employment increased in only 24 states between July and August, according to analysis of Labor Department data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Association officials said demand for construction appears to be cooling in some markets but added that many firms report they would be expanding their headcount if they could find qualified workers to hire.

"The construction market has cooled off in recent months but continues to outperform the overall economy in most states, with solid year-over-year job gains," Ken Simonson, chief economist for the association, said in a statement. "Despite some slowing in public construction, apartments and manufacturing projects, contractors in many states say they would be hiring more employees if they could find enough qualified workers."

California added the most construction jobs (29,300 jobs, 4.0 percent) between August 2015 and August 2016. Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include Florida (22,000 jobs, 5.1 percent), Colorado (16,800 jobs, 11.3 percent) and Iowa (14,400 jobs, 18.7 percent).

The District of Columbia and 13 states that shed construction jobs over the year, Kansas lost the highest number and share (-4,700 jobs, -7.7 percent). Other states that lost jobs for the year include Alabama (-3,500 jobs, -4.3 percent), North Dakota (-2,200 jobs, -6.5 percent), Montana (-1,900 jobs, -7.2 percent) and Kentucky (-1,900 jobs, -2.5 percent).

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