Photo: Emily Metcalf
Photo: Emily Metcalf

Construction is on the rise in Hawaii and 29 other states, according to a new report released today by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department.

“Construction employment rose in 30 states and the District of Columbia between February 2011 and February 2012, while 18 states lost construction jobs and two held steady—the best net positive showing for state construction employment since January 2007,” the report said.

Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, called the news “encouraging,” but said, “the industry is still struggling in too many states to declare that construction is in full recovery.”

Hawaii reported a 2.5 percent increase over the last year, with 700 new construction jobs.

Pennsylvania added the most number of jobs at 4.5 percent or 9,900, jobs followed by Tennessee and Texas at 1.4 percent with 8,100 jobs each.

Of 21 states reporting a decline, Nevada lost the highest percentage of jobs at -12.0 percent or a loss of -6,800 jobs with Alabama at -8.5 percent or a loss of 7,000) and Alaska at -6.9 percent down -1,100 jobs.

The wide range of results by states shows that it is “important for policy makers to adequately fund infrastructure programs and remove tax and regulatory barriers to private investment,” the organization said.

“Washington keeps sending mixed signals that are impeding a full recovery in construction,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “While it is good that Congress did not let highway and transit funding lapse this week, there is much more to be done to sustain long-term infrastructure investment, and to provide certainty about the tax treatment and regulations surrounding private investment.”

View the state employment data by rank and by state.

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