Construction Employment Up in Most Metro Areas
Construction employment expanded in 220 metro areas, declined in 70 and was stagnant in 49 between April 2013 and April 2014, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that federal spending cutbacks on government facilities and Hurricane Sandy reconstruction were contributing to job losses around Washington, D.C., and New Jersey.
“Construction employment appears to be rebounding in many parts of the country,” said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. “Declines in federal spending likely depressed construction employment near Washington, while of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy may be having an impact on construction employment in metro areas in New Jersey.”
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif., added the largest number of construction jobs in the past year. The largest job losses from April 2013 to April 2014 were in Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Md. El Centro, Calif., experienced the largest percentage increase of 23 percent, or 500 jobs higher than April 1991, among the 22 metro areas that topped or matched their prior April construction employment highs.
Association officials noted signs that the federal government is again ready to invest in aging infrastructure should provide more stability for a construction industry that has yet to fully recover from its years-long downturn.