Construction Employment Gains ‘Remain Modest and Sporadic’

Construction employment expanded in 215 metro areas, declined in 80 and was stagnant in 44 between June 2013 and June 2014, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America.  Association officials noted that uncertainty about a range of federal infrastructure and construction programs could weigh on future growth for the sector.

“Contractors have been expanding their work force in about two-thirds of the country for several months in a row,” says Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Some metro areas are adding workers at a strong clip, but the gains remain modest and sporadic in many localities.”

Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas added the largest number of construction jobs in the past year (11,700 jobs, 10 percent), and the largest percentage gain occurred in Monroe, Mich. (29 percent, 600 jobs.)

The largest job losses from June 2013 to June 2014 were in Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Md. (-4,200 jobs, -13 percent), and the largest percentage decline for the past year was in Cheyenne, Wyo. (-18 percent, -700 jobs).

El Centro experienced the largest percentage increase (23 percent, 500 jobs higher than June 2013) among the 26 metro areas that topped their prior June construction employment highs. Baton Rouge added the most jobs since reaching its prior June peak in 2013 (5,900 jobs, 13 percent). Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale (-93,700 jobs, -50 percent) experienced the largest drop in total construction employment compared to its prior June peak (reached in 2006) while Lake Havasu City-Kingman, Ariz., experienced the largest percentage decline compared to its June 2006 peak (-68 percent, -5,400 jobs).

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