Construction Employment Drops In 236 Metro Areas Between February 2020 & February 2021 Amid Project Cancellations, Supply Chain Problems

April 7, 2021

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land and Odessa, Texas Have Worst 12-Month Employment Losses; Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, Calif. and Sierra Vista-Douglas, Ariz. Top Ranks of Job Gainers

Construction employment decreased from February 2020 to February 2021 in 236 of the nation’s metro areas, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government employment data released today, amid project cancellations, rising material prices and supply chain problems. Association officials said that the industry will struggle to add jobs in the future if a series of proposed new labor laws, including the PRO Act, were to be put into law by the current Congress and administration.

“Relatively few places have recovered from the pandemic-induced impacts on the construction industry,” said Ken Simonson, the association’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 lost the largest number of construction jobs over the 12-month period (-37,600 jobs, -16 percent), followed by New York City (-26,700 jobs, -17 percent); Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Ill. (-12,900 jobs, -11 percent) and Midland, Texas (-11,600 jobs, -31 percent). Odessa, Texas had the largest percentage decline (-40 percent, -8,200 jobs), followed by Lake Charles, La. (-39 percent, -7,700 jobs); Midland; Longview, Texas (-23 percent, -3,400 jobs) and Laredo, Texas (-23 percent, -900 jobs).

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