Construction Employment In May Trails Pre-COVID Levels In 91 Metro Areas As Firms Struggle To Cope With Materials, Labor Challenges

June 30, 2021

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land and Odessa, Texas Have Worst 15-Month Construction Job LossesMinneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. and Fargo, N.D.-MinnTop Lists of Metros with Job Gains 


Construction employment declined in 91 metro areas and was stagnant in another 24 between February 2020, the last month before the pandemic, and May 2021, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government employment data released today. They said the high number of metro areas losing construction jobs during that time frame reflected the impacts of early pandemic shutdowns and more recent challenges procuring construction materials and finding qualified workers to hire.  


The devastating job losses of early 2020 and more recent materials and labor challenges since then have kept industry employment stagnant or lower this May than in February 2020 in nearly one-third of metros,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Extreme lead times for producing and delivering materials, along with record prices for many items, has led to project delays and cancellations that have chilled hiring.”


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