PORTLAND The U.S. economy continues to show signs of improvement and construction jobs are following that trend.

Construction jobs in Oregon are also on the rise. Oregon now ranks 17th in the nation for construction job growth, up from 43rd last year.

2,700 home and industrial construction jobs were added in the state last year.

Companies like Hamilton Construction, which is helping to build the new I-84 Sandy River Bridge, are encouraging students to consider construction as a career during a summer camp.

The camp, offered through the Northwest College of Construction is three weeks long. It offers students a chance to learn about different types of construction, from bridge building to home construction.

If you look at the number of people that are retiring... you re looking at 18,500 new jobs that we re going to have to fill within the next five years, said Linda Scronce-Johnson of Hamilton Construction.

Construction jobs are not only growing, but they also offer competitive salaries. The average annual salary for a construction worker in 2012 was nearly $57,000.

KGW Business Reporter Joe Smith contributed to this report.

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