Construction Employment Increases In 218 Of 358 Metro Areas From April 2023 To April 2024 As Worker Scarcity Limits Gains In Some Markets


Baton Rouge, La. and Fairbanks, Alaska Have Highest Number and Percentage of Year-over-Year Job Gains, While Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. and Augusta-Richmond County, Ga.-S.C. Experience Worst Job Losses

Construction employment rose in 218, or 61 percent, of 358 metro areas between April 2023 and April 2024, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of new government employment data. Association officials noted that construction employment is growing in fewer metro areas than earlier this year, but said demand remains strong enough in much of the country that many contractors continue to struggle to find enough workers.

“Job gains were less widespread in the latest 12 months than earlier in 2024 as homebuilders and developers throttled back,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “However, with demand surging for data centers, manufacturing and power projects, and infrastructure, there are still more than twice as many areas with job gains as the number of metros that had a decrease in construction employment.”

Baton Rouge, La. added the most construction jobs (7,600 jobs or 16 percent) between April 2023 and April 2024, followed by Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. (6,500 jobs, 8 percent); Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. (5,700 jobs, 4 percent); and Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (5,100 jobs, 6 percent). The largest percentage gain—32 percent—occurred in Fairbanks, Alaska, which added 700 jobs. The pickup in Fairbanks was followed by three areas with 20 percent increases: Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, Mich. (4,900 jobs); Anchorage, Alaska (1,900 jobs); and Lawton, Okla. (300 jobs).

Construction employment declined over the year in 100 metro areas and was unchanged in 40 areas. The largest job loss occurred in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. (-5,700 jobs, -5 percent), followed by New York City (-5,400 jobs, -4 percent); Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Ill. (-3,900 jobs, -3 percent); Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. (-3,800 jobs, -5 percent); and Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md. (-3,800 jobs, -5 percent). The largest percentage decrease occurred in Augusta-Richmond County, Ga.-S.C. (-12 percent, -2,000 jobs), followed by Columbus, Ind. (-11 percent, -200 jobs); Bellingham, Wash. (-10 percent, -900 jobs); and Decatur, Ill. (-9 percent, -300 jobs).

Association officials noted that labor shortages remain the top worry for most construction firms and urged public officials to support more programs that expose current and future workers to construction skills. They also urged Congress and the Biden administration to explore ways to allow more immigrants to lawfully work in the industry as a short-term solution.

“The more people who are exposed to the opportunities available, and the skills needed, to work in construction careers, the more people who will start earning a good living in this industry,” said Jeffrey D. Shoaf, the association’s chief executive officer. “Having more workers will boost local economies and allow our nation to build the infrastructure and economic development projects it needs to continue thriving.”

View the metro employment data, rank, and top 10.


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