Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land and Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Mass. Have Worst Year-over-Year Losses, While Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. and Walla Walla, Wash. Register Largest Gains in Industry Jobs
Only 34 percent of the nation’s metro areas—just over one-third—added construction jobs from November 2019 to November 2020, according to an analysis of new government data that the Associated General Contractors of America released today. Association officials said large numbers of contractors are having to lay off workers once they complete projects begun before the pandemic because private owners and public agencies are hesitant to commit to new construction.
“Canceled and postponed projects appear to be more common than new starts for far too many contractors,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Our association’s 2021 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Survey found three times more contractors have experienced postponements and cancellations than new or expanded projects.”
Construction employment fell in 203, or 57 percent, of 358 metro areas between November 2019 and November 2020. Construction employment was stagnant in 33 additional metro areas, while only 122 metro areas—34 percent—added construction jobs during the past year.