Of the 337 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, 325 of them had declines in construction employment between September 2008 and September 2009 according to a new analysis of metropolitan area employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released last week by the Associated General Contractors of America. More construction jobs were lost in Phoenix (35,100) than any other U.S. city, the report noted.
Pointing out that most of the communities where jobs increased were the result of natural disasters, AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr said, “It shouldn’t take an act of nature to put construction workers back on the job.”
Columbus, Ind., was the only community with double-digit job gains, with a 15-percent increase. Other cities with construction employment hikes included Anderson, Ind., with 6 percent; Bismarck, N.D., with 3 percent; Tulsa, Okla., with 3 percent; and Baton Rouge, La., with 1 percent.Sandherr added that Congress and the Obama Administration should act quickly on a number of key tax measures such as extending the first-time home buyers’ credit and expanding the carryback tax provisions to cover net operating losses in 2009 and 2010 for all businesses.