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REBUILDING — Miss. leads nation in construction job growth

Mississippi’s construction industry finally has hard figures that show it is rebounding. In fact, the state tops the nation in construction employment growth.

According to numbers released by the Associated General Contractors, from October 2012 to October 2013, Mississippi added 9,300 construction jobs and posted a gain of 19.1 percent, number one in the U.S. Connecticut (11.0 percent), Louisiana (8.3 percent), Florida (7.7 percent) and North Dakota (7.3 percent) rounded out the top five.

From September to October 2013, Mississippi added 1,900 construction jobs, a 3.4 percent increase — the fifth highest in the nation.

As of last month, there were 57,900 Mississippians working in construction.

“To give some perspective, our peak construction employment ‘pre-Great Recession’ was in April 2008 at 63,200,” said Lee Nations, who heads the Mississippi chapter of the AGC. “We are still a few thousand shy of reaching that previous level, but nonetheless headed in a positive direction.”

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