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Local Construction Employment Increases

April 6, 2023

Construction employment increased in 283, or 79%, of 358 metro areas between Feb. 2022 and Feb. 2023, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of new government employment data. Meanwhile, new government data shows there were more job openings in the industry than the number of people hired last month. Association officials said the industry continues to struggle to find enough workers and urged public leaders to boost investments in construction training and education.

“Although construction employment rose in nearly four-fifths of all metros in the past 12 months, contractors are still struggling fill jobs,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, in the press release. “There were more far job openings in construction at the end of February than construction employees hired in the entire month.”

Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX, added the most construction jobs (15,000 jobs or +10%), followed by Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (9,100 jobs, +13%); Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA (8,900 jobs, +7%); and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ (7,300 jobs, +5%). The largest percentage gains were in Hanford-Corcoran, CA (+27%, 300 jobs); Wausau, WI (+23%, 500 jobs); Danville, IL (+20%, 100 jobs); and Watertown-Fort Drum, NY (+20%, 300 jobs).

Construction jobs declined over the year in 41 metro areas and were unchanged in 34 areas. The largest loss occurred in Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA. (-4,200 jobs, -6%), followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA (-3,200 jobs, -2%); Pittsburgh, PA (-3,100 jobs, -6%); Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL (-2,900 jobs, -6%); and Lake Charles, LA (-1,700 jobs, -12%). Lawton, OK, experienced the largest percentage job loss (-18%, -300 jobs), followed by Monroe, MI. (-17%, -400 jobs); Lake Charles; and Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS (-10%, -900 jobs).

Government data released on April 4 showed there were 384,000 job openings in construction at the end of February, topping the 315,000 workers hired during the entire month. The disparity implied that contractors wanted to hire more than twice as many employees as they were able to find, Simonson said.