Kansas has lost the highest number of construction jobs (-4,400 jobs, -7.3 percent) in the nation over the past 12 months, according to an analysis of United States Department of Labor data released Aug. 19 by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Kansas has lost the highest number of construction jobs (-4,400 jobs, -7.3 percent) in the nation over the past 12 months, according to an analysis of United States Department of Labor data released Aug. 19 by the Associated General Contractors of America.

In the past month alone, Kansas dropped 0.9 percent with 500 jobs lost. Association officials said construction firms that work on infrastructure projects or in parts of the country where the economy is not growing are still struggling to find work to keep their teams busy.

Bob Totten, executive vice president of the Kansas Contractors Association, said if Kansas had a sustainable highway program where leaders were not regularly siphoning money away from it to fund the general budget, Kansas would have more construction jobs.

“Once again Kansas is ranked highest in the nation for something that could have easily been avoided if state leaders led our state more efficiently and made more sustainable decisions,” Totten said. “Instead, our state’s economy and prosperity are suffering. The simple fact is that constant ‘raids’ on our infrastructure over the past several years is affecting our people and our state’s reputation. This is unacceptable. We must stop making short-sighted decisions and work together to restore Kansas.”

Other states that also saw a decline in construction jobs between July 2015 and July 2016 include North Dakota (-2,900 jobs, -3.0 percent), Alabama (-2,400 jobs, -3.0 percent), Kentucky (-2,300 jobs, -3.0 percent), Wyoming (-1,700 jobs, -7.5 percent) and Maine (-1,500 jobs, -5.7 percent).

States that added the most construction jobs were California (29,100 jobs, 4.0 percent), Florida (26,400 jobs, 6.1 percent), Colorado (16,100 jobs, 10.9 percent) and Iowa (12,800 jobs, 16.5 percent).