Construction employment numbers were underwhelming in September, according to analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).
Employment in the sector declined in 144 of 358 metro areas between September 2014 and September 2015, while construction was stagnant in 55 and increased in 159 metro areas.
“It appears that many of these job losses have more to do with a lack of workers than they do a lack of work,” says Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s CEO. “While some markets are seeing a softening in demand, overall construction spending continues to rise while the sector’s unemployment rate continues to fall.”
The largest job losses year-over-year were in Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (-6,200 jobs, -8 percent), Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas (-3,300 jobs, -2 percent); Bergen-Hudson-Passaic, N.J. (-2,700 jobs, -9 percent), New Orleans-Metairie, La. (-1,700 jobs, -5 percent) and Akron, Ohio (-1,600 jobs, -12 percent). The largest percentage decline for the past year was in Las Cruces, N.M. (-17 percent, -600 jobs), followed by Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem, Mass.-N.H. (-17 percent, -400 jobs), Sierra Vista-Douglas, Ariz. (-17 percent, -200 jobs) and Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Miss. (-16 percent, -1,400 jobs).
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. (8,200 jobs, 9 percent) added the most construction jobs during the past 12 months. Other metro areas adding a large number of construction jobs include Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. (7,900 jobs, 8 percent), Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (6,900 jobs, 8 percent) and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (6,800 jobs, 6 percent). The largest percentage gains occurred in Weirton-Steubenville, W.Va.-Ohio (33 percent, 600 jobs); Fairbanks, Alaska (19 percent, 600 jobs); Wenatchee, Wash. (17 percent, 400 jobs) and Boise City, Idaho (16 percent, 2,800 jobs).