Construction Employment Increases in 243 of 358 Metro Areas Between January 2015 and 2016 as Firms Expand to Keep Pace With Growing Demand

Words: Dan KamysAnaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine and El Centro, Calif. Top Growth List; Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas, and Odessa, Texas Have Largest Declines, Followed by Many Other Energy-Producing Metro Areas Construction employment increased in 243 out of 358 metro areas, was unchanged in 43 and declined in 72 between January 2015 and January 2016, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that many of the metro areas experiencing drops in construction employment were in energy-producing metro areas.

"Demand in most parts of the country is robust and construction employment is growing in more than two-thirds of all metro areas," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "However, the downturn in energy prices appears to be having a significant impact on construction demand in a number of formerly strong markets."

Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. added the most construction jobs during the past year (12,400 jobs, 15 percent). Other metro areas adding a large number of construction jobs include Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas (11,060 jobs, 6 percent); Orange-Rockland-Westchester, N.Y. (7,700 jobs, 22 percent) and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. (7,600 jobs, 7 percent). The largest percentage gains occurred in El Centro, Calif. (61 percent, 1,100 jobs); Weirton-Steubenville, W.Va.-Ohio (33 percent, 500 jobs); Monroe, Mich. (30 percent, 600 jobs); Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury Town, Mass.-N.H. (22 percent, 800 jobs) and Orange-Rockland-Westchester, N.Y.

The largest job losses from January 2015 to January 2016 were in Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (-4,700 jobs, -6 percent); followed by Odessa, Texas (-3,800 jobs, -19 percent); Midland, Texas (-3,500 jobs, -12 percent) and Greeley, Colo. (-3,100 jobs, -16 percent). The largest percentage declines for the past year were in Odessa; Greeley; Victoria, Texas (-14 percent, -900 jobs) and Huntington-Ashland, W.V.-Ky.-Ohio (-14 percent, -1,100 jobs).

"The top markets are very diverse economically and geographically," Simonson noted. "Even Houston added an impressive number of jobs despite the oil-drilling slump because of strong demand for office, medical, residential and infrastructure projects."

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