Between June 2012 and June 2013, construction employment has increased in 191 out of 339 metropolitan areas across the United States, according to an analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). The data also showed construction employment declined in 97 areas and remained flat in 51 areas.
The largest numbers of new construction jobs added were found in Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Massachusetts with 9,900 jobs (19 percent) and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas with 9,900 jobs (6 percent). The largest percentage gains in employment were found in Pascagoula, Mississippi at 33 percent (1,500 jobs) and Eau Claire, Wisconsin at 31 percent (1,000 jobs).
As for the largest numbers of job losses, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California lost 5,500 jobs (-9 percent) and Northern Virginia lost 2,900 jobs (-4 percent). The largest percentage declines in employment were found in Rockford, Illinois at -13 percent (-600 jobs) and Pocatello, Idaho at -13 percent (-300 jobs).
Despite widespread construction employment gains showing hope for a construction recovery, AGC officials said the industry still faces challenges ahead, as the government continues to try to cut federal investments in infrastructure projects. Officials noted that last week, a Congressional subcommittee voted to cut federal funding for water and wastewater infrastructure by 75 percent for 2014 ($2.36 billion in 2013 to $600 million in 2014).
For more information, click here to read the original AGC press release.