Construction employment growth weakens

Nov. 2, 2023
Demand does not ease, but recruiting continues a problem.
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Although construction employment increased in 212 of 358 metro areas between September 2022 and September 2023, an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America suggests that the number of areas reporting increases is dropping. Association officials said the figures come as many construction firms work to find new ways to recruit and retain enough workers to keep pace with demand.

“The number of metros adding construction employees has slipped in recent months,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist, in a statement. “But contractors continue to report they are busy and have large backlogs, so the decline in metros with job gains probably reflects the dearth of qualified unemployed workers, not weaker demand.”

Top metropolitan areas for construction employment growth

  • Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas: 17,300 jobs, up 11%
  • New York City: 15,200 jobs, 10%
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana: 9,000 jobs, 19%
  • Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Oregon-Washington: 8,700 jobs, 11%
  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia: 7,300 jobs, 5 percent
  • Corvallis, Oregon: up 13%, 200 jobs
  • Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Arkansas-Missouri: 11%, 1,600 jobs

Areas with declining construction employment

  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas: -8,800 jobs, -4%
  • Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Florida: -4,700 jobs, -9%
  • St. Louis, Missouri-Illinois: -4,500 jobs, -6%
  • Nassau County-Suffolk County, New York: -4,100 jobs, -5%
  • San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, California: -2,400 jobs, -6%
  • Kankakee, Illinois: -13 percent, -200 jobs
  • Bay City, Michigan: -12 percent, -200 jobs
  • Pittsfield, Massachusetts: -9 percent, -200 jobs
  • Binghamton, New York: -9 percent, -400 jobs

Association officials noted said that member firms were finding new ways to recruit workers amid ongoing tight labor market conditions. They noted that construction employers are modernizing the way they recruit, including using digital advertising and building partnerships with local school districts.

“Construction firms are going to great lengths to recruit and prepare enough workers to keep pace with demand,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO. “We are working with those firms to help encourage more people to pursue high-paying careers in construction.”

Source: Associated General Contractors

About the Author

Rod Sutton

I have served as the editorial lead of Construction Equipment magazine and since 2001. 

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