Construction employment declined in 153 out of 358 metro areas between August 2014 and August 2015. This nearly matches 163 areas that added construction jobs, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).
The largest job losses from August 2014 to August 2015 were in Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (-6,000 jobs, -8 percent), followed by Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas (-3,700 jobs, -2 percent), Bergen-Hudson-Passaic, N.J. (-1,900 jobs, -6 percent) Akron, Ohio (-1,800 jobs, -13 percent) and New Orleans-Metairie, La. (-1,800 jobs, -6 percent). The largest percentage decline for the past year was in Santa Fa, N.M. (-22 percent, -600 jobs), followed by Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Miss. (-20 percent, -1,700 jobs), Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem, Mass.-N.H. (-20 percent, -500 jobs) and Las Cruces, N.M. (-19 percent, -700 jobs)
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. (+10,400 jobs, +11 percent) added the most construction jobs during the past year. Other metro areas adding a large number of construction jobs included Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (+8,700 jobs, +11 percent), Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. (+7,500 jobs, +9 percent) and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. (+7,300 jobs, +7 percent). The largest percentage gains occurred in Weirton-Steubenville, W.V.-Ohio (+28 percent, +500 jobs), Fairbanks, Alaska (+22 percent, +700 jobs), Wenatchee, Wash. (+17 percent, +400 jobs) and Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (+16 percent, +3,100 jobs). Construction employment was unchanged in 42 metro areas.
“Depending on the type of work they perform, contractors either can’t find enough work for their people, or can’t hire enough workers for their projects,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC CEO.
“Congress can help boost construction employment by passing measures to invest in aging infrastructure and supporting new investments in career and technical education programs to train future workers.”