US construction employment rises in 65 percent of US metro areas in February

Tuesday, 02 April 2019 23:28:47 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

According to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors, US construction employment grew in 232, or 65 percent, out of 358 metro areas between February 2018 and February 2019, declined in 73 (20 percent), and was unchanged in 53. Industry employment set a new high for February in 62 metro areas and a new low, in records that date back to 1990 for most metros.

The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. metro area added the most construction jobs during the past year (11,900 jobs, 10 percent), while the largest percentage gain occurred in Monroe, Mich. (28 percent, 500 jobs).

The largest job losses between February 2018 and February 2019 occurred in Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. (-3,300 jobs, -3 percent), while the largest percentage decrease took place in Danville, Ill. (-20 percent, -100 jobs).

Association officials said contractors in many metros can’t find enough trained workers and they urged federal officials to invest more in career and technical education. They warned firms may be unable to satisfy rising demand for construction unless more young adults are exposed to, and consider pursuing, high-paying construction careers.

“Contractors nationwide report difficulty finding enough workers to keep pace with the strong demand for projects,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Expanding high school career and technical education programs will expose students to the rewarding career paths offered by high-paying construction jobs.”

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