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Arizona seeing a steady increase in construction jobs

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Over the past year, Arizona has continued to see strong growth in the construction industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, seasonally adjusted numbers show the state has 139,700 construction jobs as of October 2016. That’s an increase from the 127,700 jobs in the local market a year ago, a positive growth of nearly nine and a half percent. Even the nonseasonally adjusted numbers show an eight percent growth in the state, with a 10 percent growth in the Phoenix-area.

“Arizona has always kind of been a boom and bust state,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist at the Associated General Contractors of America. “This is getting to be more and more of a boom.”

He added that part of the reason for Arizona’s construction boom is the economic recovery throughout the country.

“More people are now comfortable selling their homes, and they’re ready to move to Arizona the way so many people did in the 90s and the first part of the last decade,” Simonson said.

He explained that the Phoenix area is seeing a good balance in construction growth, from housing to nonresidential projects to highway construction.

Simonson said one problem contractors have is finding enough workers to fill the high demand for construction jobs. Still, he is optimistic that construction in Arizona will be growing into 2017.

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