Construction employment increased in 274 out of 358 metro areas from August 2016 to August 2017, decreased in 52 and stagnated in 32, according to analysis of federal employment by the Associated General Contractors of America.
“While many firms’ efforts to increase pay, add benefits and expand the diversity of their workforce appear to be helping, it is still a challenge for many contractors to keep pace with demand,” says Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “It is not yet entirely clear how reconstruction work in Texas and Florida following the two recent hurricanes will impact already tight construction labor markets.”
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. added the most construction jobs during the past year (15,800 jobs, 17 percent), followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (11,000 jobs, 8 percent); Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. (10,900 jobs, 20 percent); Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash. (8,500 jobs, 13 percent) and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. (7,400 jobs, 10 percent). The largest percentage gains occurred in the Lewiston, Idaho-Wash., metro area (27 percent, 400 jobs) followed by Lake Charles, La. (23 percent; 4,800 jobs); Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, Mich. (20 percent, 4,400 jobs); Las Vegas; Killeen-Temple, Texas (17 percent, 1,600 jobs) and Riverside, Calif.
The largest job losses from August 2016 to August 2017 were in Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas (-4,500 jobs, -2 percent), followed by Columbia, S.C. (-3,900 jobs, -23 percent); Orange-Rockland-Westchester, N.Y. (-2,500 jobs, -6 percent); San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (-2,300 jobs, -4 percent) and Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean, N.J. (-1,900 jobs, -5 percent). The largest percentage decreases for the year were in Columbia, S.C.; followed by Grand Forks, N.D.-Minn. (-22 percent, -1,100 jobs); Danville, Ill. (-17 percent, -100 jobs) and Trenton, N.J. (-9 percent, – 500 jobs).