Construction Employment Increases in 265 Metros from November 2017 to November 2018

By on January 3, 2019

From EC&M:  Construction employment grew in 265, or 74%, out of 358 metro areas between November 2017 and November 2018, declined in 45, and remained unchanged in 48, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Association officials cautioned that employment gains may be tapering off because contractors cannot find enough qualified workers.

“Construction employment growth remains widespread, but as unemployment hits historic lows in many metros, contractors are having ever-increasing difficulty filling positions,” says Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “As a result, construction employment may level off in more areas, even while the demand for projects — and workers — continues to be strong.”

The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas, metro area added the most construction jobs during the past year (24,000 jobs, 11%). Other metro areas adding a large amount of construction jobs during the past 12 months include Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. (17,500 jobs, 15%); Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (14,800 jobs, 10%); and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. (11,100 jobs, 15%). The largest percentage gain occurred in Weirton-Steubenville, W.Va.-Ohio (26%, 500 jobs), followed by New Bedford, Mass. (22%, 600 jobs), and Lewiston, Idaho-Wash. (21%, 300 jobs).

The largest job losses between November 2017 and November 2018 occurred in St. Louis, Mo.-Ill. (-4,500 jobs, -7%), followed by Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md. (-3,000 jobs, -4%), and Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean, N.J. (-2,400 jobs, -6%). The largest percentage decrease occurred in Laredo, Texas (-10%, -400 jobs), followed by Portland-South Portland, Maine (-9%, -900 jobs), and Spokane-Spokane Valley, Wash. (-8%, -1,100 jobs).

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