Construction employment in Arkansas decreased by 700 jobs (-1.3%) to 52,700 jobs from May to June, an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) of new government data shows. That ranked No. 9 among U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Construction employment increased in 31 states and D.C., but the AGC warned job losses could resume without federal funding.
“The widespread job gains in June follow even more universal increases in May,” Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said in a statement. “But the government’s employment snapshot was based on payrolls during the week of June 12. More recent data collected by Procore [Technologies] on hours worked on job sites suggests employment topped out around mid-June and may have begun to decline.”
Procore is a construction project management software company based in California.
From June 2019 to June 2020, construction employment increased in 15 states, decreased in 34 states and D.C., and held steady in Wyoming.
Each month, AGC puts out commentary on construction employment in the U.S., ranking each state and 358 metro statistical areas (MSAs) by employment change.
In the most recent MSA report available, construction jobs remained flat in Northwest Arkansas from April to May at 12,200 jobs. Fort Smith metro construction jobs saw 2% growth in the same time period, from 5,500 to 5,600 jobs.
AGC officials warned that recent flare-ups of COVID-19 in most states mean there will soon be more project cancellations, forcing contractors to lay off workers again.
“Only the federal government has the means to keep infrastructure and other needed public construction on track,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s CEO. “It would be tragic to miss the opportunity to support the economy, keep thousands of construction employees at work, and invest in much-needed upgrades to roads, transportation facilities, water and sewer systems.”