Construction employment expanded in 249 metro areas, declined in 56 and was stagnant in 53 between March 2014 and March 2015, according to the Associated General Contractors of America’s (AGC) analysis of federal employment data.

“Many firms are caught between trying to cope with labor shortages while also wondering whether Washington will figure out how to pay for needed infrastructure reforms,” says Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Even as construction demand is likely to continue growing, there is plenty for most firms to worry about during the coming months.”

Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. added the largest number of construction jobs in the past year (12,400 jobs, 17 percent), followed by Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. (11,400 jobs, 13 percent). The largest percentage gains occurred in Wenatchee, Wash. (33 percent, 600 jobs), Merced, Calif. (25 percent, 400 jobs), Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J. (23 percent, 1,000 jobs) and Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas. (22 percent, 3,900 jobs).

New Orleans-Metairie, La. (-3,300 jobs, -11 percent) saw the largest job losses from March 2014 to March 2015. The largest percentage decline for the past year was in El Centro, Calif. (-22 percent, -700 jobs) followed by Weirton-Steubenville, W.Va.-Ohio (-19 percent, -400 jobs).

AGC officials say that while the outlook for the construction industry remains positive for the rest of the year, labor shortages and federal infrastructure funding shortfalls remain worrisome for many firms.

“While it is good to see the industry expanding in many parts of the country, many firms still have plenty of challenges to cope with,” says Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Getting Congress to fund needed infrastructure investments and make it easier for firms and school districts to set up construction training programs would certainly help the industry.”