Construction Employment Declines In 203 Metro Areas From March 2020 To March 2021 Despite Homebuilding Boom And Improving Economy

April 28, 2021

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land and Odessa, Texas Have Worst 12-Month Employment Losses, While Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. and Sierra Vista-Douglas, Ariz. Lead List of 104 Metros with Job Gains

Construction employment decreased from March 2020 to March 2021 in 203, or 57 percent, of the nation’s metro areas, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government employment data released today. Association officials said that the industry’s broader recovery in many parts of the country is being hampered by rising materials prices, supply chain disruptions and project cancellations.

“Nearly twice as many metros have lost construction jobs as gained them in the past 12 months, even though homebuilding has recovered strongly and the overall economy is in much better shape than it was a year ago,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Nonresidential construction is still at risk of further declines in much of the country.”

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas lost the largest number of construction jobs over the 12-month period (-31,000 jobs, -13 percent), followed by New York City (-24,000 jobs, -15 percent); Midland, Texas (-10,000 jobs, -26 percent); Odessa, Texas (-8,000 jobs, -39 percent); and Nassau County-Suffolk County, N.Y. ( 7,900 jobs, -10 percent). Odessa had the largest percentage decline, followed by Lake Charles, La. (-35 percent, -6,800 jobs); Midland; Longview, Texas (-24 percent, -3,600 jobs) and Greeley, Colo. (-21 percent, -4,100 jobs).

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