October 22, 2018 (NAHB Eye on Housing) — Over the year, total nonfarm employment in September increased by 2.5 million jobs which is a 1.7% increase compared to September 2017. During this time, total nonfarm employment in the Southern region increased by 2.5% and in the Western region by 2.4%. The Midwest and the Northeast recorded the lowest gains at 1.3% during this time.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 33 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 15 states in September 2018 compared to August 2018. Alaska and Rhode Island reported no change during this time. Nationwide, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 134,000 over the month of September, a considerably lower level than the increase of 270,000 jobs in August.
Year-over-year, 48 states and the District of Columbia increased in employment while two states, Alaska and Vermont, lost payroll employment during the month of September. The same number of states increased and decreased (Alaska and Vermont) in employment over the year ending in August.
Year-over-year, ending in September, 24 states recorded annualized growth equal to and/or above 1.7% in employment, which was the national growth rate. Florida recorded the highest growth rate at 4.8%, adding 407,300 workers during this time. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia recorded annualized growth between 0.7%-1.6% while Alaska and Vermont recorded declines in employment.
In the construction sector specifically, which includes both residential and non-residential construction, across the 44 states which reported construction sector jobs data, 26 states had an increase in September, 14 states reported a decline, and four states remained unchanged compared to August. Between August and September 2018, Kentucky had the largest increase in construction job growth with 2.3% while the largest decline was in Kansas where total construction employment fell by 2.3%. Construction sector posted a net gain of 23,000 jobs which is 0.3 percentage points higher than in August.
Year-over-year, the U.S added 315,000 construction sector jobs which is a 4.5% increase compared to September 2017. Florida had the highest annual growth in construction sector by 14.8%. Georgia (12.2%) and Arizona (10.8%) round out the top three. Over this period, New Jersey reported the largest decline at 6.1%, followed by Kentucky (-1.2%) and Mississippi (-0.5%).