Texas contractors lead U.S. in job creation

The construction industry in Texas continues to show its mettle, according to an analysis by Arlington, Va.-based Associated General Contractors of America.

Meanwhile, many other parts of the country appear to finally be headed in the right direction on the construction-job front as well, AGC reports.

The AGC analysis shows that the Lone Star State added the most construction jobs between January 2012 and 2013 — a total of 28,500 jobs.

Texas’ construction sector reported a total of 600,100 jobs as of Jan. 31, — a 5 percent increase from the 571,600 jobs posted last January.

The AGC analysis tracks employment numbers for all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.

The report shows that construction employment expanded in two-thirds of all states in January — proof that the industry may finally be emerging from a six-year slump.

“These results show that contractors are finding work in more parts of the country than they have for many months,” said Ken Simonson, the AGC’s chief economist. “Construction spending has been rising for two full years, but contractors have been cautious about adding workers until they knew the upturn would last.”

The good news is that work in both the residential and private, nonresidential arenas are poised to be on the rise in 2013 — which is expected to be sufficient to “offset a further slowdown in public work, and contractors will be looking for more workers,” Simonson said.

The bad news is that the current and looming federal budget cuts could slow momentum in the country’s construction industry.

“Further gains appear likely but could be derailed if lawmakers continue to make indiscriminate cuts to key construction and infrastructure programs,” Simonson said.

“Canceling construction investments will ultimately worsen the deficit by undermining the nation’s growth and competitiveness,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC CEO. “Meanwhile, the burden falls unfairly on states that host large military facilities — as well as states with extensive federal lands, research and energy installations.”

, Reporter/Project Coordinator-San Antonio Business Journal