Employment in the construction industry grew in 39 states during the past year — its best showing in more than a year, the Associated General Contractors of America said.

Increased federal spending on infrastructure is needed to continue the momentum, association officials said.

“It is encouraging that three-quarters of the states are now adding construction jobs on a year-over-year basis,” said Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist. “Employment increases are still intermittent in too many states, however, and nearly all states are far below their pre-recession highs.”

Mississippi had the greatest gains with a 19 percent increase. Also performing well were Connecticut, Louisiana and Florida.