Arlington, VA – Construction employment decreased from February 2020, the last month prior to the pandemic, to April 2021 in 107, or 30%, of the nation’s metro areas, and was stagnant in another 34, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government employment data recently released.
Association officials said that construction employment in many parts of the country was being undermined by pandemic-induced project delays, materials price spikes and shortages, and difficulties finding labor. Association officials called on the Biden administration to take steps to address rising materials prices and growing labor shortages.
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas lost the largest number of construction jobs over the 14-month period (-29,300 jobs, -12%), followed by New York City (-22,300 jobs, -14%); Midland, Texas (-9,800 jobs, -26%); Odessa, Texas (-8,000 jobs, -39%); and Lake Charles, La. (7,200 jobs, -36%). Odessa had the largest percentage decline, followed by Lake Charles; Midland; Laredo, Texas (-23%, -7,200 jobs) and Longview, Texas (-23%, -3,400 jobs).
Construction employment was stagnant in 34 additional metro areas, while 217 metro areas, 61%, added construction jobs over the pre-pandemic level. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind. added the most construction jobs over 14 months (7,900 jobs, 15%), followed by Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Ill. (6,300 jobs, 5%); Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (6,200 jobs, 6%); Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. (5,900 jobs, 8%); and Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, Calif. (5,300 jobs, 8%).
Sierra Vista-Douglas, Ariz. had the highest percentage increase (44%, 1,100 jobs), followed by Fargo, N.D.-Minn. (34%, 2,500 jobs); Lawrence-Methuen Town Salem, Mass-N.H. (29%, 1,000 jobs); Bay City, Mich. (27%, 300 jobs) and Taunton-Middleborough-Norton, Mass. (22%, 700 jobs).
View the metro employment 14-month data, rankings, top 10, multi-division metros, and map.