By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE
Missouri is the fourth-highest state to add construction jobs over the past two years, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.
AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson said Missouri added 9,500 jobs between February 2020 and February 2022, a 7.4 percent increase in the state’s construction workforce. Missouri’s construction employment increase trails Florida (14,100 jobs), Utah (13,600 jobs) and Tennessee (11,400 jobs).
Nationwide, seasonally adjusted construction employment in February 2022 topped the February 2020 level in 32 states and lagged in 18 states and the District of Columbia, according to Simonson.
“For the month of February (2022) alone, construction employment increased in 39 states, declined in nine states and D.C. and was unchanged in Alaska and Louisiana,” he said.
In Bloomsdale, Mo., Bloomsdale Excavating Company, Inc. is contributing to construction employment statistics. President Scott Drury said the firm hired nearly 20 individuals in February and March and plans to hire 20 more this season.
“For a company of our size, this is significant,” said Drury. “We’re going to essentially double our workforce within a three-month period.”
Many of the new hires are crafts people, he said. Bloomsdale has been successful in recruiting union-skilled equipment operators and laborers, thanks to the robust apprenticeship programs run by the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 513 and the Missouri and Kansas Laborers District Council.
“We’re landing more projects in 2022,” Drury said. “With the supply chain issues, we’re trying as best we can to stay away from material-heavy projects.”