Construction Employment in Metro Areas Sees Modest Growth

There was a mix of positive and negative in the Associated General Contractors of America’s latest analysis of federal employment data.

According to the analysis, construction employment expanded in 218 metro areas, declined in 72 and was stagnant in 49 between May 2013 and May 2014.

“Construction employment continues to rise in about two-thirds of the nation’s metro areas,” says Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “However, there are still many areas that have not achieved consistent growth, and very few metros have exceeded previous peaks of construction employment.”

Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas, added the largest number of construction jobs in the past year (11,100 jobs, 10 percent), with the largest percentage gains occurring in St. Cloud, Minn. (34 percent, 1,700 jobs).

Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Md. (-4,200 jobs, -13 percent) experienced the largest job loss from May 2013 to May 2014, while the largest percentage decline for the past year occurred in Cheyenne, Wyo. (-14 percent, -500 jobs) and Gary, Ind. (-2,800 jobs, -14 percent).

Only 28 metro areas exceeded or matched their prior May construction employment highs, with St. Cloud experiencing the largest percentage increase (26 percent, 1,400 jobs more than in May 2006). Baton Rouge, La., meanwhile added the most jobs since reaching its prior May peak in 2013 (5,000 jobs, 11 percent).

Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., had the largest drop in total construction employment compared to its prior May peak in 2006 (-68,400 jobs, -62 percent), while Lake Havasu City-Kingman, Ariz., experienced the largest percentage decline compared to its May 2006 peak (-68 percent, -5,400 jobs).

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