Construction employment remains below peak levels in 329 out of 337 metro areas, according to a new analysis released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Given the continued weakness in construction employment, the association urged Congress to pass infrastructure measures, including legislation to fund highway, transit and aviation construction work.
The Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ, area lost more construction jobs since its peak employment (down 93,600 jobs compared to December 2006, a 53 percent drop) than any other metro area. Other areas experiencing large declines in construction employment compared to peak levels included Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA (down 73,700 jobs compared to December 2005, a 57 percent drop); Las Vegas-Paradise, NV (down 65,900 jobs compared to December 2005, a 62 percent drop) and Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL (down 64,800 jobs, a 35 percent drop). Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ, lost the highest percentage of jobs (70 percent, a decline of 5,300 jobs compared to December 2005).
In contrast, only six areas have more people working in construction than ever before: Bismarck, ND (up 400 jobs compared to December 2010, an 11 percent increase); Lawton, OK (up 100 jobs since December 2010, a 5 percent increase); Longview, TX (up 600 jobs compared to December 2010, a 4 percent increase); Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA (up 100 jobs compared to December 2010, a 2 percent increase); Waco, TX (up 100 jobs compared to December 2008, a 2 percent increase); and El Paso, TX (up 100 jobs compared to December 2009, a 1 percent increase).