May Construction Employment Up in 185 of 339 Metro Areas - Modern Distribution Management

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May Construction Employment Up in 185 of 339 Metro Areas

Association officials say the pace of construction employment growth is expanding.

Construction employment increased in 185 out of 339 metropolitan areas between May 2012 and May 2013, declined in 115 and was stagnant in 39, according to an analysis of federal employment data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said the number of metro areas adding jobs, and the pace at which construction employment is expanding in those metro areas, continues to grow.

“It appears that the months-long growth in private sector demand for a host of residential and non-residential construction work is finally translating into significant numbers of new construction jobs in many parts of the country,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Even though some metro areas will continue to lose construction jobs, sector employment is likely to continue expanding in most parts of the country for the immediate future.”

Pascagoula, MS, added the highest percentage of new construction jobs (47 percent, 2,000 jobs), followed by Eau Claire, WI (29 percent, 900 jobs) and Hanford-Corcoran, CA (29 percent, 200 jobs). The largest job losses were in Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA (down 3,100 jobs, down 5 percent), followed by Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY (down 2,800 jobs, down 7 percent) and Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville,CA (down 2,800 jobs, down 7 percent).

Association officials said the new, mostly positive, figures were welcome news for a construction industry that bore the brunt of the recent economic downturn. But they cautioned that years of dwindling employment prospects and neglect of vocational and skills-based educational programs have discouraged many potential job seekers from considering careers in construction. They said contractors in some faster growing metro areas were likely to have a tougher time finding skilled workers if the industry continues to add jobs.

View construction employment figures by state and rank.

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