Construction Employment Increases in 205 Out of 358 Metro Areas

July 1, 2015

Construction employment expanded in 205 metro areas, declined in 101 and was stagnant in 52 between May 2014 and May 2015, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). 

AGC officials noted even though the majority of metro areas are still adding construction jobs, the number of gainers has decreased to the lowest level since April 2013.

Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash., added the largest number of construction jobs in the past year (11,300 jobs, +15 percent), followed by Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., (10,400 jobs, +12 percent), Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich., (8,100 jobs, +19 percent) and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (7,500 jobs, +6 percent).

The largest percentage gains occurred in Wenatchee, Wash. (+30 percent, +600 jobs), Bellingham, Wash. (+23 percent, +1,300 jobs), Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J. (+22 percent, +1,100 jobs), Huntsville, Ala. (+19 percent, +1,400 jobs) and Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills.

The largest job losses from May 2014 to May 2015 were in New Orleans-Metairie, La., (-3,200 jobs, -10 percent), followed by Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Miss., (-2,600 jobs, -25 percent), Orange-Rockland-Westchester, N.Y., (-1,800 jobs, -5 percent), Akron, Ohio, (-1,300 jobs, -10 percent) and El Paso, Texas (-1,300 jobs, -9 percent).  The largest percentage decline for the past year was in Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, followed by Santa Fe, N.M. (-19 percent, -500 jobs), Bloomington, Ill., (-14 percent, -400 jobs) and Madera, Calif. (-14 percent, -200 jobs).

“Although contractors are continuing to add workers in many parts of the country, construction employment stagnated or shrank in nearly half of all metro areas over the past year,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “With Washington unable to figure out how to finance infrastructure and a number of large energy projects getting put on hold, the sector’s recovery appears to be slowing in certain parts of the country.”