While metropolitan Chicago shed thousands of construction jobs in May, it was a different story in Indianapolis, where year-over-year job growth outpaced nearly every metro market in the nation, according to new data from Arlington, Va.-based Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).
The Indianapolis-Carmel market added 8,000 construction jobs in May, on top of the 6,100 jobs it added in April, AGC reports. Builders also are seeing improvement across the state, which ranked eighth in construction job growth in May.
“It's consistent with growth we've seen recently, not just in construction jobs but in other private sector employment,” Jane Jankowski, press secretary for Gov. Mitch Daniels, recently told reporters.
According to the Sugar Land, Texas-based Industrial Information Resources, nearly $10 billion in industrial projects are currently under way in Indiana, while another $12.6 billion in projects are under “active” development.
Indiana also continues to benefit from Major Moves, a 10-year, $11.8-billion highway construction program launched by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2005. The program was partially funded by $3.85 billion in cash the state received for leasing a northern Indiana toll road for 75 years to a Spanish-Australian consortium.
The news isn't as good across state lines. While the Illinois Tollway Authority is proceeding with a $12.1-billion rebuilding and widening program, construction remains at a standstill in Chicago, the region's largest metropolitan market. In April, the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville market lost more construction jobs than any metro market in the U.S. some 6,500 jobs in all, according to AGC data. The metro market lost another another 6,900 jobs in May as major transportation and infrastructure projects in the area began to wind down.