Construction employment increased in 139 out of 337 metropolitan areas between December 2011 and December 2012, declined in 131 and was stagnant in 65, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released Jan. 28 by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that growing private sector demand for new construction projects boosted employment in a slight plurality of metro areas.
“Private sector demand for energy, health care, higher education and residential construction is having a positive impact in a growing number of metro areas,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Unfortunately, construction employment in almost as many metro areas appears to be suffering from declining public sector demand and a private sector market that is still well-below peak levels.”
Pascagoula, Miss., added the highest percentage of new construction jobs (42 percent, 1,900 jobs) followed by Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury, Mass.-N.H. (22 percent, 800 jobs); Lafayette, La. (17 percent, 1,100 jobs) and Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa (16 percent, 3,000 jobs). Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (17,600 jobs, 10 percent) added the most jobs. Other areas adding a large number of jobs included Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (8,300 jobs, 8 percent); Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (7,800 jobs, 12 percent); Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. (5,900 jobs, 12 percent) and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (5,700 jobs, 5 percent).
The largest job losses were in Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.