One-third of Metro Areas Lost Construction Jobs Between August 2020 and 2021

Nearly one-third of U.S. metro areas lost construction jobs between August 2020 and August 2021, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government employment data released September 29.

“While construction activity has rebounded from pandemic lows in many metros, the recovery is fragile,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Extreme production and delivery delays, along with continuing high materials costs, may lead to project cancellations and postponements that cut into job gains.”

Construction employment declined from a year earlier in 65 metros and held steady in 37. New York City lost the most jobs (-8,600 jobs or -6 percent), followed by Nassau County-Suffolk County, New York (-5,100 jobs, -6 percent); Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Florida (-3,200 jobs, -6 percent); Calvert-Charles-Prince George’s, Maryland (-2,400 jobs, -7 percent) and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas (-2,300 jobs, -1 percent). The largest percentage declines were in Evansville, Indiana-Kentucky (-14 percent, -1,400 jobs); Tuscaloosa, Alabama (-12 percent, -800 jobs); Watertown-Fort Drum, New York (-11 percent, -200 jobs); Morristown, Tennessee (-10 percent, -200 jobs); Victoria, Texas (-9 percent, -300 jobs) and Gadsden, Alabama (-9 percent, -100 jobs).

Construction employment increased in 256 out of 358 metro areas over the last 12 months. San Diego-Carlsbad, California added the most construction jobs (8,900 jobs, 11 percent; followed by Sacramento-Roseville–Arden-Arcade, California (8,600 jobs, 12 percent); Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (7,200 jobs, 12 percent); Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts (6,300 jobs, 9 percent) and St. Louis, Missouri (6,300 jobs, 9 percent). Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem, Massachusetts had the highest percentage increase (26 percent, 900 jobs); followed by Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (23 percent, 3,600 jobs); Bloomington, Illinois (17 percent, 500 jobs); and Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona (16 percent, 500 jobs).

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