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Construction Employment Increases in 248 Metro Areas Between January 2017 & 2018 as New Metals Tariffs Threaten Future Sector Job Gains

March 16, 2018

Construction employment increased in 248 out of 358 metro areas between January 2017 and January 2018, declined in 68 and stagnated in 42, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said that future construction job gains could be undermined, however, as new tariffs force contractors to pay more for steel and aluminum products and dampen demand for new construction.

“The new tariffs are already leading to increases in what many contractors are paying for steel and aluminum products,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Most contractors will be unable to pass along these increased costs, leaving less money to invest, ironically, in steel construction equipment as well as personnel.”

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