Construction Employment Increases in 281 Metros

- Construction employment grew in 281, or 78 percent, out of 358 metro areas between October 2017 and October 2018, declined in 43 and was unchanged in 34, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials cautioned that such widespread employment gains might not continue without policy changes to increase the supply of qualified workers.

“Construction employment has been increasing at a greater rate than overall employment in many metros,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “But many contractors report they are having difficulty filling hourly craft worker positions, even though construction pay exceeds the average for the overall economy.”

The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas metro area added the most construction jobs during the past year (25,600 jobs, 12 percent). Other metro areas adding a large amount of construction jobs during the past 12 months include Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. (16,700 jobs, 14 percent); Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (13,100 jobs, 9 percent); and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. (11,700 jobs, 16 percent). The largest percentage gain occurred in Midland, Texas (25 percent, 7,200 jobs), followed by New Bedford, Mass. (22 percent, 600 jobs); Weirton-Steubenville, W.Va.-Ohio (21 percent, 400 jobs); and Lewiston, Idaho-Wash. (20 percent, 300 jobs).

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