Vermont gained the second most construction-related jobs in November, but still ranks only 45th in the nation over the last year. Construction employment expanded in 20 states between October and November, while the list of states with year-over-year construction job gains grew to 13 states plus the District of Columbia, the Associated General Contractors of America reported in an analysis of state employment data released today by the Labor Department. The new figures continue a year-long pattern of mixed results in construction employment as overall demand remains weak, association officials noted.‘It is encouraging that the number of states adding jobs year-over-year was higher in November than at any time since February 2008,’ said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. ‘However, the data also make clear that these gains are as spotty as they are tenuous.’Simonson noted, for example, that California had the largest monthly increase in construction employment’adding 7,800 jobs’but also the largest 12-month drop’36,900 jobs, or 6.4 percent. New Jersey and New York had the next-highest number of construction job gains in November with 4,500. New Jersey also led the nation in monthly percentage gains (3.7 percent), followed by Vermont (3.4 percent, 400 jobs) and Maine (2.5 percent, 600 jobs).The largest year-over-year percentage gains occurred in Oklahoma (9.2 percent, 6,100 jobs), New Hampshire (6.7 percent, 1,500 jobs) and Kansas (4.7 percent, 2,700 jobs). Texas had the largest increase in the number of construction employees (13,400 jobs, 2.4 percent).Washington had the largest number of monthly job losses (4,200 jobs), followed by Utah (2,400 jobs) and North Carolina (2,300). In November, employment shrank in 29 states and held steady in D.C. and Alaska.On a year-over-year basis, the largest losses were in California (36,900 jobs, -6.4 percent), Nevada (16,600 jobs, -22.0 percent’the steepest percentage decline) and Florida (12,900 jobs, -3.6 percent). Other large year-over-year percentage declines occurred in Idaho (-15.5 percent, 5,100 jobs) and Montana (-11.2 percent, 2,700 jobs). In all, 36 states lost construction jobs over the past 12 months, while construction employment was unchanged in Massachusetts.Association officials cautioned that construction employment figures were likely to fluctuate and possibly drop over the coming months as many stimulus-funded projects begin to wind down and private-sector demand remains weak. They added that newly passed legislation that prevented steep tax increases, including for many small construction firms, will help boost overall economic activity and could drive new demand for construction later next year.‘The tax bill is a step in the right direction because it will revitalize the economy and help boost private-sector construction demand,’ said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. ‘But Congress still needs to act on long-delayed infrastructure bills and provide businesses with relief from an increasingly costly regulatory burden.View construction employment figures by state and by rank.
Geocaching can take you to amazing places all over the world. For one geocacher, it took her on a Hurtigruten cruise to Norway where she saw northern lights and quaint coastal towns.In July 2017, Hurtigruten expedition cruises released 3,000 polar bear and penguin trackables for an epic adventure to geocachers in the United States. Geocachers showed how they “connected with their inner explorer” on social media for a chance to receive a seven-day expedition cruise in Norway for two. The photo contest winner, Sarah (@myruggy89), shared with us the story of her trip.Sør-Trøndelag, Norway GC34WJDSarah, her husband David, their 12- month-old daughter, and another little one on the way live in New Jersey. Sarah started geocaching in March 2013. She later met her husband who wasn’t an active geocacher at the time, but had geocached before she ever had.Sarah and her family in Ålesund, NorwayGeocaching: What’s the story behind your winning photo? Sarah: I received the Hurtigruten trackable just days before our family vacation, so I knew I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful clear water at Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire near our vacation spot. I told my husband, patches46, that I had a crazy idea, but it involved putting his cell phone underwater. I was soon holding my breath and he was taking the shots! @myruggy89’s winning photo taken August 2017 at Lake Sunapee, New HampshireGC: What was your favorite find from your trip?S: My favorite find would have to be Bryggen i Bergen (GC25BXH) as it was hidden amongst the remains of an ancient wharf, which is now a World Heritage site. In additional to taking in the beautiful sights of the Norwegian coastline during our cruise, we only planned to walk the towns at each port with the goal of finding at least one geocache, which we did. Not only did I bring trackables to drop off in Norway, I also picked up a few to help their goals of gaining mileage and exploring the world.Bryggen i Bergen (GC25BXH)GC: What were the trip highlights? S: We had a beautiful display of the northern lights one night; that was definitely a major highlight for me. Other highlights include crossing the arctic circle, enjoying local cuisine on the ship, and earning my Norway souvenir.GC: What makes a Hurtigruten Cruise unique?S: This was the first cruise that I had ever been on so it’s hard to make a comparison of the uniqueness of this cruise to others. However, based only on what I have heard from others, this cruise definitely provided an eyeful of beautiful sights that many others cruises can’t provide. Hurtigruten took us to unique and exciting locations every day!GC1V4PY in Finnmark, NorwayGC: Anything else you want to tell us?I started a new trackable (Blue Dolphin – TB8GB8H) of my own and dropped it off in Norway to commemorate the Hurtigruten trip that I won. We found a few geocaches and I was able to start a brand new trackable whose goal is to make it back home to me in the USA.Check out Sarah’s Instagram account, @myruggy89, for more awe-inspiring photos from her Hurtigruten Cruise and other geocaching adventures!Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedWin a Hurtigruten trackable + Expedition Cruise for Two in NorwayJune 20, 2017In “Trackable Items”Inside Geocaching HQ Podcast Transcript (Episode 11): The Magic of trackable promotionsMay 10, 2018Similar postThrough Twist of Geocaching Fate, #PSNoBoundaries Photo Contest Brings International Space Station Travel Bug to Geocaching Block PartyJuly 8, 2015In “Community”