Construction employment increased in 250 out of 358 metro areas between September 2016 and September 2017, declined in 56 and stagnated in 52, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Association officials note that continued strong demand for construction is placing new strains on an already tight construction labor market.

“Construction firms in many parts of the country continue to expand to keep up with demand for their services,” says Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Yet construction growth would likely have been even more robust if contractors could find more qualified construction workers to hire.”

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., added the most construction jobs during the past year (16,200 jobs, 17 percent), followed by Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. (10,100 jobs, 18 percent); Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash. (9,100 jobs, 14 percent); Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. (7,800 jobs, 8 percent); and New York, N.Y. (7,000 jobs, 5 percent). The largest percentage gains occurred in the Wenatchee, Wash., metro area (19 percent, 500 jobs) followed by Lake Charles, La. (18 percent; 4,000 jobs); Las Vegas; Cheyenne, Wyo. (17 percent, 600 jobs); Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. (17 percent, 3,700 jobs); and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.