Highway construction hiring mostly down across nation

With the economy on the upswing, some states are adding construction jobs while others that have not as fully emerged from the recession are losing jobs in the sector.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced that the state added 1,200 construction jobs in March, in addition to adding 500 in February, according to Finance & Commerce.

Despite the gains, the state's construction industry is still struggling as employment in the sector is down 40 percent - or about 46,200 jobs - since March 2006.

"Last year, we had a lot of federal stimulus money for highway construction that pumped up that sector," DEED spokesman Monte Hanson told the news source. "With that money now spent and no new stimulus money on the way, jobs have dropped significantly from the same period a year ago."

Still, the gains in Minnesota look better when compared to other states such as Oregon, which lost 500 construction jobs in February, according to the Oregonian. The news source reports that the construction industry has been slow to rebound in the state, with only about 300 more workers in the sector than at the same time last year.