WASHINGTON — Construction employment grew in 250 out of 358 U.S. metropolitan areas between April 2018 and April 2019, declined in 53 and was unchanged in 55, according to analysis of federal employment data released May 30 by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Association officials said in the release construction employment in many parts of the country likely would have been higher if firms could find more qualified workers to hire.
“Demand for construction is steady or rising in most parts of the country, and many contractors are adding workers when they can find them,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, in the statement.
“At the same time, many firms report they would have hired even more employees if only they could find enough qualified workers.”
The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. metro area added the most construction jobs during the past year (16,600 jobs, 14 per cent).
Other metro areas adding a large amount of construction jobs during the past 12 months include Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (9,200 jobs, 6 per cent); Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (8,400 jobs, 6 per cent); Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. (7,000 jobs, 6 per cent) and Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. (6,800 jobs, 11 per cent).
The largest percentage gain occurred in Monroe, Mich. (26 per cent, 500 jobs) and St. Cloud, Minn. (26 per cent, 1,500 jobs), followed by Auburn-Opelika, Ala. (25 per cent, 600 jobs) and Norwich-New London-Westerly, Conn.-R.I. (16 per cent, 600 jobs).
The largest job losses between April 2018 and April 2019 occurred in Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C. (minus 2,600 jobs, down 4 per cent), followed by Baton Rouge, La. (minus 1,800 jobs, down 3 per cent); Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn. (minus 1,600 jobs, down 8 per cent) and Longview, Texas (down 1,300 jobs, a drop of 9 per cent).
“One reason relatively few young adults choose to pursue rewarding careers in construction is because not many of them are being told it is an option to consider,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer, in the release.
“We have a lot of contractors looking for workers so they can keep up with the amount of work that is out there.”