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Construction employment rose in 45 states in February compared with one year ago, a recent analysis of federal employment data by the Associated General Contractors of America revealed. Texas posted the largest number of jobs added with an uptick of 37,900, or 5%, from February 2022 to February 2023, while West Virginia saw the largest drop, losing 2,200 jobs, or 6.5%, over that time period, Construction Dive reports.

Despite hiring progress nationwide, most construction firms still report trouble finding enough workers to keep pace with demand, and as a result, many contractors are opting not to bid on projects due to a lack of staff.

The Department of Labor has recently announced initiatives to train and employ women and minorities — underrepresented groups in construction — so that they can find a strong career path and fill the gap in demand. The agency hopes the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will create an opportunity for workers seeking good-paying jobs, who then realize their future in construction.

Nevertheless, the gap is wide. The IIJA will likely continue to push demand higher. Even as large infrastructure projects come to town, builders are competing over a small pool of staff for their work.

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