Construction employment expanded in 232 metro areas, declined in 66 and was stagnant in 60 between April 2014 and April 2015, according to a new analysis of federal employment data recently released by the Associated General Contractors of America.
“Demand, particularly from private-sector clients, has rebounded enough that many firms have been steadily expanding their head count during the past 12 months,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “But construction employment is still below prior peak levels in most areas, as firms worry about the fate of federal transportation funding.”
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. added the largest number of construction jobs in the past year (12,600 jobs, 17%), followed by Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. (10,800 jobs, 12%), Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. (7,800 jobs, 10%) and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (7,800 jobs, 7%).
The largest percentage gains occurred in Wenatchee, Wash. (32%, 600 jobs), Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J. (24%, 1,100 jobs), Visalia-Porterville, Calif. (21%, 900 jobs), Dothan, Ala. (20%, 500 jobs) and Lake Charles, La. (20%, 2,700 jobs).
The largest job losses from April 2014 to April 2015 were in New Orleans-Metairie, La. (-3,300 jobs, -10%), followed by Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Miss. (-1,800 jobs, -18%), Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash. (-1,400 jobs, -3%), El Paso, Texas (-1,100 jobs, -8%) and Orange-Rockland-Westchester, N.Y. (-1,100 jobs, -3%). The largest percentage decline for the past year was in Weirton-Steubenville, W.Va.-Ohio (-29%, -600 jobs) followed by Santa Fe, N.M. (-19%, -500 jobs), Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Miss. and El Centro, Calif. (-17%, -500 jobs).