Las Vegas, NV

March 3-7, 2026

Open Menu
Close Menu

10 Best States for Construction Jobs



Best states for construction jobs 2023

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the U.S. construction industry lost about 1.5% of its workforce from 2020 to 2021. But the industry still employs more than 5.8 million people. And when you factor in the hundreds of thousands of positions construction companies have been struggling to fill, it is clear that the construction industry remains a job hunter’s market heading into 2023.

More recent employment data has provided additional encouragement. The construction industry added roughly 19,000 jobs in September 2022 after adding 32,000 in July and August. The construction industry unemployment rate stood at 3.4%, down from 4.5% a year prior.

Ironically, the number of unemployed in September 2022 was nearly identical to the number of unfilled positions throughout the industry. That gap is largely attributable to skills and experience. It is also partly a matter of placing workers where the jobs are.

States with the most jobs

Construction jobs are being created in more areas throughout the country.

Employment increased in 31 states from July to August. Then, from August to September, employment increased in 32 states. Furthermore, these gains came as the vast majority of contractors said they would’ve hired even more people if they could find them.

“While it is encouraging to see construction employment expanding in a majority of states, it is tempting to imagine how much higher those gains would have been if contractors could find enough workers to hire,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, Chief Executive Officer of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Sandherr also noted that a recent survey by the AGC found that 91% of firms are having a hard time finding workers to hire.

In any event, BLS data shows that the states with the most construction jobs are:

  • California — 663,570
  • Texas — 568,930
  • Florida — 398,060
  • New York — 311,160
  • Pennsylvania — 214,610
  • North Carolina — 173,640
  • Illinois — 173,610
  • Ohio — 171,950
  • Virginia — 166,280
  • Washington — 165,750
  • Michigan — 144,770
  • Georgia — 140,930
  • Colorado — 137,060
  • Arizona — 135,000
  • Massachusetts — 127,940

One interesting thing to note is that many of the states with the most construction jobs are not among the best-paying states. In fact, Texas, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia all pay an average wage that is below the national average. That is why it’s important for construction workers to not only look for the hottest job markets but also consider other factors such as earnings potential and overall quality of life.

States with the best wages

Hawaii construction jobs BLS data from 2021 shows that the average hourly wage for a “construction and extraction” worker is $26.87. That is a solid increase from 2020 and 2019 when the averages were $25.93 and $22.80, respectively.

Of course, construction workers in some states garner a higher wage than others, likely for a variety of reasons. Regardless of what those reasons are, 2021 BLS data shows that the top-paying states are:

  • Hawaii — $35.27
  • New Jersey — $34.47
  • Alaska — $34.34
  • Massachusetts — $34.27
  • Illinois — $34.18
  • New York — $33.69
  • Washington — $33.41
  • California — $31.95
  • District of Columbia — $30.70
  • Connecticut — $30.69
  • Minnesota — $30.34
  • Oregon — $29.36
  • Rhode Island — $29.03

NOTE: Wages have been climbing rapidly. BLS data shows that the average hourly wage across the country had risen to $35.04 in September 2022 — a 30% increase over the past few years and a 5.5% increase over the past year alone. Production and nonsupervisory personnel specifically have seen average hourly wages rise to $32.83. That said, the above states remain the highest-paying across the country, though their average wages have likely shifted up in line with the industrywide trend.States with the most growth potential

In addition to wages, jobseekers should also look for indications of sustainable growth in construction activity.

“Those indicators are economic growth and population growth,” said Ken Simonson, AGC’s Chief Economist. “When those indicators are strong, the situation is much different than when, for example, there is a hurricane or other natural disaster that leads to a lot of temporary construction activity in a certain state.”

State GDP. Economic activity across the country began to slow by the middle of 2022. However, 10 states were still in positive territory at the end of Q2 according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis:

  • Texas — 1.8%
  • Florida — 1.6%
  • West Virginia — 1.4%
  • Delaware — 1.2%
  • Nevada — 1.0%
  • New York — 0.7%
  • Hawaii — 0.6%
  • Rhode Island — 0.6%
  • Washington — 0.6%
  • Tennessee — 0.3%

State construction GDP. While a handful of states were still seeing some economic growth in the second quarter, all states saw a contraction of construction activity. But again, when considering the labor shortages being faced throughout the country, the conditions for employment in construction remain strong.

Big I is the name of the freeway interchange where Interstate 25 (I-25) and I-40 intersect northeast of downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States.You can also look to states that are slowing down less than the national average. Here are the states that saw a contraction of construction GDP well below the national average (-0.84%) in Q2:

  • New Mexico -0.36%
  • West Virginia -0.44%
  • North Dakota -0.55%
  • New York -0.57%
  • Connecticut -0.60%
  • South Dakota -0.62%
  • Rhode Island -0.65%
  • Oklahoma -0.66%
  • New Hampshire -0.68%

Population. Below are the 10 most populous states based on July 2021 data from the U.S Census Bureau (numbers depicted in millions):

  • California — 39.237
  • Texas — 29.527
  • Florida — 21.781
  • New York — 19.835
  • Pennsylvania — 12.964
  • Illinois — 12.671
  • Ohio — 11.780
  • Georgia — 10.799
  • North Carolina — 10.551
  • Michigan — 10.050

Population growth. While having a large population is important, it is equally important to have a population that is growing. As more people move into an area, the need for additional housing and other infrastructure increases. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the states with the most population growth from July 2020 to July 2021 are:

  • Texas +310,288
  • Florida +211,196
  • Arizona +98,330
  • North Carolina +93,985
  • Georgia +73,766
  • South Carolina +59,976
  • Utah +56,291
  • Tennessee +55,099
  • Idaho +53,151
  • Nevada +29,920

And the 10 best states for construction jobs are ….Construction New York City

When considering all of the factors described above, the following states are the 10 best states for construction jobs:

  1. New York
  2. Florida
  3. Texas
  4. North Carolina
  5. Illinois
  6. Washington
  7. Georgia
  8. California
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Pennsylvania

Well beyond the top 10 states listed above, there are a lot of great things happening in the construction industry. From job opportunities and outstanding wages to prospects for future growth, now is a great time to build a great career in the construction industry.


Read Next

Best Cities for Construction Jobs

Subscribe to the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365 weekly newsletter to receive more great stories like this.