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Arizona Builders Still Struggling To Find Enough Construction Workers

Arizona’s non-farm employment increased by more than 31,000 jobs in October. The construction sector was one of the growth leaders, adding 14,000 jobs last month.

Phoenix is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, driving demand for housing and development.

Even though construction is seeing growth in jobs, there is still a high demand for workers.

 Lee McPheters is a professor of economics at Arizona State University. He says builders are still struggling to find enough construction workers, but also facing other obstacles.

“The cost of land, the cost of materials, the tariffs to the extent that they affect ported materials like appliances and stuff you put in a new home," McPheters said. 

He also said many people avoid construction jobs in Arizona because of the heat and manual labor. However, he says builders have several programs where they introduce younger people to construction. 

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Nakiesha Johnson is in her last semester at Arizona State University, studying at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She joined KJZZ as a news intern for fall 2019.Johnson recently worked for Cronkite News as a social media producer, helping manage and post content for social media platforms. She also reported the weather every Wednesday.Johnson, who has lived in Arizona most of her life, hopes to be able to cover news in other states. Her goal is to become a talk show host who reaches out to young adults.