Construction employment declined in 110 out of 358 metro areas between December 2015 and December 2016, was stagnant in another 65 and increased in 183, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that the disappointing new jobs data coincides with data showing a drop in most infrastructure spending in 2016 and comes out as a broad coalition of business, labor and transportation interests from across the country urged President Trump to deliver on his promise to rebuild the country’s aging infrastructure.
“There are two main reasons so few areas added construction jobs last year—they couldn’t find enough new workers to hire or they couldn’t find enough work to require new hiring,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “In some markets, the solution is more workforce development measures, while other markets need new demand for construction before firms will begin adding jobs. In particular, spending on critical transportation, sewage and water infrastructure declined last year.”
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