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Construction employment increased in 170 out of 339 metropolitan areas between April 2012 and April 2013, declined in 123 and was stagnant in 46, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that a majority of metro areas are adding construction jobs as private sector demand accelerates in many parts of the country.
“Demand for construction continues to grow in many parts of the country amid increasing private sector investments in new residential, energy and supply chain facilities like factories, rail lines and warehouses,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “These private sector gains appear strong enough in many parts of the country to outpace declining public sector investments in infrastructure and buildings.”
Association officials said that improving construction employment was masking longer-term problems that could come from declining public sector investments. They noted, for example, that economic growth could suffer as aging transportation infrastructure forces firms to pay more to ship goods. At the same time, increasing construction employment means more areas could experience worker shortages in the near future amid a lack of available workers with experience in certain key construction skills.