Construction Jobs Drop in 285 out of 337 Metro
Areas Between June 2009 and June 2010
July 28, 2010
Construction employment declined in 285 out of 337 metropolitan
areas between June 2009 and June 2010 according to a new analysis
of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors
of America (AGC). The employment figures demonstrate how weak overall
demand for construction is outpacing the benefits of the stimulus
$135 billion in construction-related investments, association officials
The overall lack of demand for new construction is hurting
more than the stimulus is helping at this point, said Ken
Simonson, the associations chief economist. While more
metropolitan areas have started adding construction jobs, most are
still experiencing losses nearly four years after the construction
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville lost more construction jobs (21,300 jobs,
15 percent) than any other metro area, while Pascagoula, Miss.,
(2,000 jobs, 32 percent) and Flagstaff, Ariz., (700 jobs, 32 percent)
lost the highest percentage. Other areas experiencing large declines
in construction employment included Las Vegas (16,500 jobs, 26 percent);
Houston (16,300 jobs, 9 percent); Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale
(15,900 jobs, 13 percent); and Seattle-Bellevue-Everett (12,400
jobs, 16 percent).
Simonson noted that 25 metro areas added construction jobs over
the past 12 months, while another 27 areas experienced no change
in construction employment. Calvert-Charles-Prince Georges
Counties in Maryland added more construction jobs (1,900, 5 percent)
than any other metro area while Hanford-Corcoran, Calif., added
the highest percentage (22 percent, 200 jobs). Other areas adding
jobs included Kansas City, Kan., (1,600 jobs, 8 percent); Columbus,
Ohio (1,200 jobs, 4 percent); Chattanooga, Tenn., (900 jobs, 11
percent); and Eau Claire, Wis. (400 jobs, 13 percent).
Simonson said the growing volume of stimulus-funded projects was
helping save jobs throughout the construction industry. He added,
however, that continued weak private, state and local demand for
construction was taking a broader toll on construction employment.
Worse, overall demand for construction is unlikely to recover until
well after stimulus funding runs out, Simonson noted.
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