A recent report released by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) analyzed federal employment data and concurred that between January 2013 and January 2014, construction employment expanded in 195 metro areas, declined in 90, and was stagnant in 54.
Overall, despite obvious improvement, construction employment remained way below peak levels, except in 21 metro areas.
“It is a sign of the continued strengthening of the construction industry that nearly 60 percent of metros added construction jobs from a year earlier despite the severe winter conditions in much of the country this January,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Nevertheless, the industry’s recovery has a long way to go with only a smattering of metro areas exceeding their previous peak January level of employment.”
The highest number of new construction jobs was added in Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif., with 8,100 jobs or 7% increase, followed by Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas, with 7,900 jobs or 4% increase; Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif., with 7,800 jobs or 11%, and Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas, with 7,200 jobs or 7% increase.
The largest percentage gains occurred in Pascagoula, Miss. with 46%, which equals 2,100 jobs; in El Centro, Calif. with 39% or 700 jobs, and Steubenville-Weirton, Ohio-W.V. with 38% or 600 jobs.
However, despite the encouraging data, AGC warned that if the Highway Trust Fund hits a zero balance, it could put a stop on the sector’s recovery in the middle of construction season.
Read the full press release at AGC of America.