Construction employment increased in 120 out of 337 metropolitan areas between May 2010 and May 2011, declining in 162 and staying level in 55, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released this week by the Associated General Contractors of America.
“While construction employment has stopped plunging, any sign of a recovery remains spotty at best,” said Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist. “The close to even split between areas adding and losing jobs is a reminder that for every market doing well, there is another market that is still hurting.”
The Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas, area added more construction jobs (5,600 jobs, 5-percent) than any other metro area during the past year while Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury, Mass.-New Hampshire added the highest percentage (22 percent, 800 jobs). Other strong areas were Chicago-Joliet-Naperville area (4,600 jobs, 4 percent); Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich. (3,700 jobs, 11 percent); Houston-Sugarland-Baytown (2,900 jobs, 2 percent) and St. Louis (2,700 jobs, 4 percent.)
The largest job-loss areas were Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta (-7,400 jobs, -8 percent); Las Vegas (-7,400 jobs, -16 percent); New York City
(-6,700 jobs, -6 percent); and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.
(-5,300 jobs, -9 percent)
AGC officials added that demand for new office buildings, retail facilities and lodging would remain depressed as long as current vacancy rates remain high. Also, demand for infrastructure and other publicly funded projects was declining because of the winding down of stimulus projects and budget cuts.