Construction employment expanded in 220 metropolitan areas, declined in 73 and was flat in 46 between August 2013 and August 2014, according to the Associated General Contractors of America’s analysis of recent federal employment data.

Association officials added that construction spending climbed to $961 billion from $915.3 billion between August 2013 and August 2014, a 5 percent increase.

“Even as construction employment continues to rebound in many parts of the country, other areas continue to lose ground, or like Phoenix, backslide,” says Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Similarly, while construction spending has been increasing overall in the past year, the gains remain uneven. The industry appears likely to experience very mixed results by segment and region for the rest of 2014 and into next year.”

Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas added the largest number of construction jobs in the past year (10,900 jobs, 6 percent), and the largest percentage gains occurred in Lake Charles, La. (27 percent, 2,900 jobs).

The largest job losses from August 2013 to August 2014 were in Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz. (-5,000 jobs, -5 percent), while the largest percentage decline for the past year was in Steubenville-Weirton.

Even as construction spending increased for the year, it declined 0.8 between July and August, from $968.8 billion to $961 billion. Both private and public construction spending declined for the month, 0.8 percent and 0.9 percent respectively.

The month-to-month private sector declines occurred in both residential (0.1 percent down) and nonresidential construction (1.4 percent down). Spending on public education facilities dropped 2.9 percent for the month while investments in highway construction also dropped by 0.6 percent for the month.