Construction employment decreased from March 2020 to March 2021 in 203, or 57 percent, of the nation’s metro areas, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government employment data. Association officials said that the industry’s broader recovery in many parts of the country is being hampered by rising materials prices, supply chain disruptions and project cancellations.
“Nearly twice as many metros have lost construction jobs as gained them in the past 12 months, even though homebuilding has recovered strongly and the overall economy is in much better shape than it was a year ago,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Nonresidential construction is still at risk of further declines in much of the country.”
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas lost the largest number of construction jobs over the 12-month period (-31,000 jobs, -13 percent), followed by New York City (-24,000 jobs, -15 percent); Midland, Texas (-10,000 jobs, -26 percent); Odessa, Texas (-8,000 jobs, -39 percent); and Nassau County-Suffolk County, New York ( 7,900 jobs, -10 percent). Odessa had the largest percentage decline, followed by Lake Charles, Louisiana (-35 percent, -6,800 jobs); Midland; Longview, Texas (-24 percent, -3,600 jobs) and Greeley, Colorado (-21 percent, -4,100 jobs).
Only 104, or 29 percent, out of 358 metro areas added construction jobs during the past 12 months, while construction employment was stagnant in 51 metro areas. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington added the most construction jobs over 12 months (5,300 jobs, 5 percent), followed by Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Indiana (4,300 jobs, 8 percent); Austin-Round-Rock, Texas (4,000 jobs, 6 percent); Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, California (3,200 jobs, 5 percent); and Ogden-Clearfield, Utah (3,100 jobs, 15 percent). Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona had the highest percentage increase (35 percent, 900 jobs), followed by Fargo, North Dakota-Minnesota (24 percent, 1,800 jobs); Cleveland, Tennessee (16 percent, 300 jobs); Niles-Benton Harbor, Mich. (15 percent, 300 jobs) and Ogden-Clearfield.