Report: Construction employment down in two-thirds of US metros

By |  April 7, 2021


Construction employment declined in nearly two-thirds (236 of 358) of metro areas from February 2020 to February 2021, according to an analysis of government data by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

AGC officials point to a number of factors currently impacting construction employment across the U.S.

“Relatively few places have recovered from the pandemic-induced impacts on the construction industry,” says Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist. “Project cancellations, spiking materials prices and significant supply chain challenges are making it hard for most firms to add new construction jobs compared to a year ago.”

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas, saw the largest drop in construction employment over the 12-month period (37,600 jobs; 16 percent), followed by New York City (26,700 jobs; 17 percent), Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Illinois (12,900 jobs; 11 percent), and Midland, Texas (11,600 jobs; 31 percent).

By percentage, Odessa, Texas, lost the most construction jobs (40 percent; 8,200 jobs) year-over-year, followed by Lake Charles, Louisiana (39 percent; 7,700 jobs).

On the positive side, 83 metros added construction jobs during the year-over-year period.

Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, California, gained the most construction jobs (3,100 jobs; 4 percent), followed by Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington (2,800 jobs; 3 percent), Ogden-Clearfield, Utah (2,800 jobs; 14 percent), and Boise, Idaho (2,700 jobs; 10 percent).

Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona, experienced the highest percentage gain in construction employment (40 percent; 1,000 jobs), followed by Cleveland, Tennessee (16 percent; 300 jobs).

Meanwhile, construction employment remained stagnant in 39 metro areas from February 2020 to February 2021.

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