Employment in the construction industry increased last month in 30 states, according to Labor Department data analyzed by the Associated General Contractors of America.
The expansion was at a slower pace than February, however, and association officials said many states could still be impacted by federal “sequestration” budget cuts.
“A majority of states are adding jobs month by month and year-over-year,” said Ken Simonson, the AGC’s chief economist. “The expansion appears poised to continue for residential and private nonresidential construction. But investment in infrastructure and public buildings is still on a downward path. That will keep employment down in states with a large federal presence.”
The association urged Congress and the White House to make infrastructure spending a priority even when other categories are suffering major budget cuts.
Shortchanging investment in the nation’s infrastructure hurts not just construction workers but anyone who relies on good roads, air travel or drinking water,” said association Chief Executive Officer Stephen E. Sandherr. “We need to make urgent repairs and new investments in transportation and environmental infrastructure before our aging and overused systems begin to drag on economic growth.”