AGC: Construction jobs up in two-thirds of metros

By |  December 1, 2021


Nearly two-thirds of U.S. metro areas added construction jobs between October 2020 and October 2021, according to an analysis of government employment data done by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

Association officials say that the growth would likely have been larger and more widespread had firms not been dealing with supply chain and labor shortage challenges.

“While it is heartening that the construction is recovering from the lows of 2020 in much of the country, the pandemic is still causing major supply chain problems and is keeping some workers from seeking employment,” says Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist. “Those impediments threaten to limit construction employment gains in many metros.”

Construction employment increased in 236 of 358 metro areas (66 percent) in that 12-month span, declined in 72 metros and held steady in 50.

Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, California, added the most jobs (6,800 jobs, up 9 percent), followed by Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts (6,600 jobs, up 9 percent); Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida (6,400 jobs, up 9 percent); Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington (5,500 jobs, up 5 percent); and Pittsburgh (5,200 jobs, up 7 percent).

In terms of percentages, Worcester, Massachusetts, had the highest gain (up 20 percent, 2,000 jobs), followed by Sioux Falls, South Dakota (up 19 percent, 800 jobs); Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (up 19 percent, 3,200 jobs); Atlantic City-Hammonton, New Jersey (up 16 percent, 800 jobs) and Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona (up 15 percent, 500 jobs).

Among the states that saw decreases, Nassau County-Suffolk County, New York, lost the most jobs (6,700 jobs, down 8 percent), followed by New York City (5,500 jobs, down 3 percent); Orange-Rockland-Westchester counties, New York (3,600 jobs, down 8 percent); Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (2,800 jobs, down 2 percent) and Calvert-Charles-Prince George’s counties, Maryland (2,600 jobs, down 8 percent).

Percentage wise, Evansville, Indiana-Kentucky, saw the steepest decline (down 17 percent, 1,700 jobs), followed by Altoona, Pennsylvania (down 13 percent, 400 jobs); Watertown-Fort Drum, New York (down 11 percent, 200 jobs) and Gary, Indiana (down 10 percent, 1,700 jobs).

AGC officials urge the Biden administration to continue working to reduce tariffs on key construction materials and to take additional steps to ease supply chain problems at ports and other shipping facilities.

They add that the AGC is working to recruit more people into the construction industry and the recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act should send a positive message to many workers about career opportunities in construction.

“Firms are struggling to source materials for projects, coping with rising prices for those materials, all while eagerly searching for workers to put those materials in place,” says Stephen Sandherr, AGC’s CEO. “We are eager to work with public officials to address supply chain challenges even as we work to recruit more people into high-paying construction careers.”

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About the Author:

Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor of Pit & Quarry and Editor-in-Chief of Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or

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