flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

Construction employment lags or matches pre-pandemic level in 101 metro areas despite housing boom

Market Data

Construction employment lags or matches pre-pandemic level in 101 metro areas despite housing boom

Eighty metro areas had lower construction employment in June 2021 than February 2020.


By AGC | July 29, 2021

Construction employment declined or stagnated in 101 metro areas between February 2020, the last month before the pandemic, and last month, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government employment data released today. Association officials said that labor shortages and supply chain problems were keeping many firms from adding workers in many parts of the country.

“Typically, construction employment increases between February and June in all but 30 metro areas,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “The fact that more than three times as many metros as usual failed to add construction jobs, despite a hot housing market, is an indication of the continuing impact of the pandemic on both demand for nonresidential projects and the supply of workers.”

Eighty metro areas had lower construction employment in June 2021 than February 2020, while industry employment was unchanged in 21 areas. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas lost the most jobs: 33,400 or 14%. Major losses also occurred in New York City (-22,000 jobs, -14%); Midland, Texas (-9,300 jobs, -24%); Odessa, Texas (-7,900 jobs, -38%) and Baton Rouge, La. (-7,700 jobs, -16%). Odessa had the largest percentage decline, followed by Lake Charles, La. (-34%, -6,700 jobs); Laredo, Texas (-25%, -1,000 jobs); Midland; and Longview, Texas (-22%, -3,300 jobs).

Of the 257 metro areas—72%—added construction jobs over the February 2020 level, Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Ill. added the most construction jobs over 16 months (14,300 jobs, 12%), followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. (13,800 jobs, 18%); Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind. (10,700 jobs, 20%); Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich. (9,300 jobs, 18%); and Pittsburgh, Pa. (7,600 jobs, 13%). Fargo, N.D.-Minn. had the highest percentage increase (50%, 3,700 jobs), followed by Sierra Vista-Douglas, Ariz. (48%, 1,200 jobs); Bay City, Mich. (45%, 500 jobs); St. Cloud, Minn. (39%, 2,400 jobs) and Kankakee, Ill. (36%, 400 jobs).

Association officials urged Congress and the Biden administration to make new investments in workforce development and to take steps to address supply chain issues. “They called for additional funding for career and technical education; they noted that craft training receives only one-sixth as much federal funding as college preparation.” They also continued to call on the president to remove tariffs on key construction materials like steel and aluminum.

“Federal officials may talk about the value of craft careers like construction, but they are failing to put their money where their mouth is,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Until we expose more people to construction careers, and get a handle on soaring materials prices, the construction industry is likely to have a hard time recovering from the pandemic.”

View the metro employment datarankingstop 10, and map.

Related Stories

MFPRO+ News | Mar 2, 2024

Job gains boost Yardi Matrix National Rent Forecast for 2024

Multifamily asking rents broke the five-month streak of sequential average declines in January, rising 0.07 percent, shows a new special report from Yardi Matrix.

K-12 Schools | Feb 29, 2024

Average age of U.S. school buildings is just under 50 years

The average age of a main instructional school building in the United States is 49 years, according to a survey by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). About 38% of schools were built before 1970. Roughly half of the schools surveyed have undergone a major building renovation or addition.

MFPRO+ Research | Feb 27, 2024

Most competitive rental markets of early 2024

The U.S. rental market in early 2024 is moderately competitive, with apartments taking an average of 41 days to find tenants, according to the latest RentCafe Market Competitivity Report.

Construction Costs | Feb 22, 2024

K-12 school construction costs for 2024

Data from Gordian breaks down the average cost per square foot for four different types of K-12 school buildings (elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools, and vocational schools) across 10 U.S. cities.

Student Housing | Feb 21, 2024

Student housing preleasing continues to grow at record pace

Student housing preleasing continues to be robust even as rent growth has decelerated, according to the latest Yardi Matrix National Student Housing Report.

Architects | Feb 21, 2024

Architecture Billings Index remains in 'declining billings' state in January 2024

Architecture firm billings remained soft entering into 2024, with an AIA/Deltek Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score of 46.2 in January. Any score below 50.0 indicates decreasing business conditions.

Multifamily Housing | Feb 14, 2024

Multifamily rent remains flat at $1,710 in January

The multifamily market was stable at the start of 2024, despite the pressure of a supply boom in some markets, according to the latest Yardi Matrix National Multifamily Report.

Student Housing | Feb 13, 2024

Student housing market expected to improve in 2024

The past year has brought tough times for student housing investment sales due to unfavorable debt markets. However, 2024 offers a brighter outlook if debt conditions improve as predicted.

Contractors | Feb 13, 2024

The average U.S. contractor has 8.4 months worth of construction work in the pipeline, as of January 2024

Associated Builders and Contractors reported today that its Construction Backlog Indicator declined to 8.4 months in January, according to an ABC member survey conducted from Jan. 22 to Feb. 4. The reading is down 0.6 months from January 2023.

Industry Research | Feb 8, 2024

New multifamily development in 2023 exceeded expectations

Despite a problematic financing environment, 2023 multifamily construction starts held up “remarkably well” according to the latest Yardi Matrix report.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category


K-12 Schools

Average age of U.S. school buildings is just under 50 years

The average age of a main instructional school building in the United States is 49 years, according to a survey by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). About 38% of schools were built before 1970. Roughly half of the schools surveyed have undergone a major building renovation or addition.



halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021