Fifty-Six Out of 337 Metro Areas Add Construction
Jobs Between August 2009 and 2010
September 27, 2010
Construction employment expanded in 56 out of 337 metropolitan
areas between August 2009 and August 2010 according to a new analysis
of federal employment data released today by the Associated General
Contractors of America (AGC). More cities added construction jobs
during the past year than at any point since September 2008, indicating
that the worst of the industry's job losses may be over, association
"With construction employment on the mend in an increasing
number of areas, it appears that the worst is finally over,"
said Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist. "The fact remains,
however, that this industry has a long way to go before we see construction
employment back to pre-recession levels."
Simonson noted that Kansas City, Kan., added more construction
jobs (2,500 jobs, 13 percent) than any other metro area while Hanford-Corcoran,
CAlif., added the highest percentage (22 percent, 200 jobs). Other
areas adding jobs included Pittsburgh (2,000 jobs, 4 percent); Calvert-Charles-Prince
Georges Counties, Maryland (1,200 jobs, 3 percent); Chattanooga,
Tenn. (700 jobs, 8 percent); and Eau Claire, Wis. (600 jobs, 19
Simonson added that 245 metro areas lost construction jobs while
construction employment was unchanged in another 36. The Chicago-Joliet-Naperville
area lost more construction jobs (22,600 jobs, 16 percent) than
any other metro area, even after a construction strike ended in
July. Napa, Calif. (900 jobs, 30 percent) lost the highest percentage.
Other areas experiencing large declines in construction employment
included Las Vegas (13,500 jobs, 22 percent); Houston (11,200 jobs,
6 percent); Seattle-Bellevue-Everett (9,100 jobs, 12 percent); and
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. (8,500 jobs, 13 percent).
Association officials said that even as the employment outlook
improves in a growing number of metropolitan areas, construction
unemployment remains nearly double the national average. Federal
inaction, combined with ongoing weak private, state and local demand
will continue to undermine chances of a broader construction industry
recovery, officials noted.
"The fact that the best news the industry has had in years
is that we're not losing jobs as fast as we were is a reflection
of how hard hit construction has been during the downturn,"
said Stephen Sandherr, AGC chief executive officer. "Too many
construction workers remain unemployed while Congress lets long-delayed
infrastructure legislation idle."
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