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Total nonfarm payroll employment went up nationally in May, with the strongest growth in the South and West, according to new Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

This growth in these two regions is consistent with the faster single-family and multifamily permit growth concentrated in these areas. In the 44 states reporting construction sector jobs data, 23 states had an increase last month. The construction sector posted a net gain of 25,000 jobs overall, 0.3 percent growth over the previous month. Year-over-year, 286,000 jobs were added to this sector, 4.1 percent growth from 2017, the National Association of Home Builders reports.

Between April and May 2018, North Dakota had the largest increase in construction job growth with 8.7 percent followed by Rhode Island (3.2 percent) and Maine (3.1 percent). The largest decline was in Wyoming where total construction employment fell by 2.0 percent. During this time, New Jersey declined by 1.9 percent and Kentucky declined by 1.5 percent. West Virginia had the highest annual growth in construction sector by 11.1 percent. Arizona (8.8 percent) and Georgia (8.4 percent) round out the top three. Over this period, North Dakota reported the largest decline at 6.4 percent, followed by New Jersey (3.0 percent) and South Carolina (1.4 percent).

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