Only Nine Out of 337 Metropolitan Areas Add Construction Jobs Between January 2009 and 2010
March 18, 2010

Construction employment continued to shrink in most American communities as 313 out of 337 metro areas lost construction jobs between January 2009 and January 2010 according to a new analysis of federal employment figures released today by the Associated General Contractors of America.

"It's difficult to imagine that many regions will bounce back when so many construction workers are unemployed," says Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "Worse, with virtually every city suffering significant construction job losses, there's nowhere to hide from what is clearly a construction depression."

Simonson notes that Phoenix again lost more construction jobs (27,600) than any other city in America. Steubenville, Ohio and Weirton, W. Va., experienced the largest percentage decline in construction employment (44 percent, 1,600 jobs), followed by Grand Junction, Colo., (34 percent, 3,400 jobs); Las Vegas (32 percent, 24,500 jobs); Napa, Calif. (32 percent, 1,100 jobs); and Santa Cruz, Calif. (31 percent, 1,100 jobs.)

Eau Claire, Wis., added the most construction jobs (500) between January 2009 and January 2010, and experienced the largest percentage increase (23 percent) Simonson adds. Other cities adding construction jobs included Ithaca, N.Y. (9 percent, 100 jobs); Michigan City, Ind. (6 percent, 100 jobs); Waterbury, Conn. (5 percent, 100 jobs); and Grand Forks, N.D. and Minnesota (5 percent, 100 jobs).

Simonson says the figures underscore the need for new investments in infrastructure as well as new tax incentives designed to stimulate private sector demand.

"If we can't find a way to keep what's left of the industry working, construction job losses are only going to get worse," says Simonson.

CLICK HERE to view construction employment by state and by ranking.

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