Construction employment increased in 170 out of 339 metropolitan areas between April 2012 and April 2013, declined in 123 and was stagnant in 46, according to a new analysis of federal employment data recently released by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that a majority of metro areas are adding construction jobs as private-sector demand accelerates in many parts of the country.
“Demand for construction continues to grow in many parts of the country amid increasing private-sector investments in new residential, energy and supply chain facilities like factories, rail lines and warehouses,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “These private-sector gains appear strong enough in many parts of the country to outpace declining public sector investments in infrastructure and buildings.”
Pascagoula, Miss. added the highest percentage of new construction jobs (45%, 1,700 jobs), followed by Napa, Calif. (36%, 800 jobs); Merced, Calif. (19%, 300 jobs); Baton Rouge, La. (16%, 6,600 jobs) and Lake Charles, La. (16%, 1,400 jobs). Two metro areas in Texas virtually tied for the most jobs added in the past 12 months: Dallas-Plano-Irving (11,500 jobs, 11%) and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown (11,400 jobs, 6%). They were followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (9,400 jobs, 9%); Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (7,800 jobs, 13%) and Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz. (7,500 jobs, 9%).
The largest job losses were in Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill. (-5,900 jobs, -5%), followed by Northern Virginia (-3,200 jobs, -5%); Cincinnati-Middletown, Ohio-Ky. (-2,400 jobs, -6%) and Raleigh-Cary, N.C. (-2,300 jobs, -8%). Bellingham, Wash. (-20%, -1,300 jobs) lost the highest percentage. Other areas experiencing large percentage declines in construction employment included Decatur, Ill. (-18%, -700 jobs); Eau Claire, Wis. (-17%, -500 jobs) and Rockford, Ill. (-17%, -700 jobs).