Construction employment declined in 160 out of 337 metropolitan areas between September 2011 and September 2012, increased in 125, and was stagnant in 52, according to a new analysis of federal employment data by AGC.
Association officials said that construction employment in many areas continued to decline as construction activity is put on hold amid uncertainty about federal tax and investment programs and declining public sector demand.
“A lot of project owners appear to be taking a time out until Washington officials can set tax rates for next year and figure out what to do about the planned sequestration cuts,” said Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist. “Few businesses are going to invest in major new projects when they don't even know what they will be paying in taxes next year or what direction the economy will be heading.”
Areas that saw the most losses included Springfield, Mass.—Conn., and Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, Fla., while Pascagoula, Miss., and Houston—Sugar Land—Baytown, Texas, were the top gainers.