Currently Reading

Three out of four metro areas add construction jobs from July 2020 to July 2021

Market Data

Three out of four metro areas add construction jobs from July 2020 to July 2021

COVID, rising costs, and supply chain woes may stall gains.

By AGC | August 31, 2021

Three-fourths of all metro areas added construction jobs between July 2020 and last month, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government employment data released today. Association officials noted that while many metro areas have added jobs since last summer, construction employment still lags pre-pandemic levels in many areas as the industry faces a host of challenges.

“The rapid spread of the delta variant of coronavirus, along with soaring materials costs and multiple supply-chain difficulties, appears to be causing some project owners to delay starting construction,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “However, the virus flare-up threatens further job gains, particularly because construction workers have a lower vaccination rate and thus a higher risk of becoming ill than other occupations.”

Construction employment increased in 268 out of 358 metro areas over the last 12 months. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. added the most construction jobs (10,200 jobs, 10%), followed by Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, Calif. (9,100 jobs, 13%); Pittsburgh, Pa. (8,300 jobs, 14%); and Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Ill (7,700 jobs, 6%). Waterbury, Conn. had the highest percentage increase (29%, 800 jobs), followed by Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem, Mass. (26%, 900 jobs); Hanford-Corcoran, Calif. (22%, 200 jobs); and Bloomington, Ill. (21%, 600 jobs).

Construction employment declined from a year earlier in 54 metros and held steady in 36. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas lost the most jobs: 7,000 or 3%, followed by New York City (-6,300 jobs, -4%); Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla. (-3,500 jobs, -7%); Nassau County-Suffolk County, N.Y. (-2,400 jobs, -3%) and Calvert-Charles-Prince George’s, Md. (-2,400 jobs, -7%). The largest percentage declines, 11%, were in Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J. (-600 jobs) and Evansville, Ind.-Ky. (-1,100 jobs), followed by 9% decreases in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (-600 jobs) and Victoria, Texas (-300 jobs).

Association officials urged federal officials to take steps to address supply-chain woes and boost demand for many types of construction services. They continued to call for the removal of tariffs on a host of critical construction materials, including steel and aluminum. And they urged the House of Representatives to quickly pass bipartisan infrastructure legislation that would give a needed boost to construction demand at a time when many private sector owners are rethinking projects amid rising prices and the spiking coronavirus cases.

“Washington officials have the ability to help offset soaring materials prices and boost flagging demand for commercial construction,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “The president should put an immediate end to tariffs that are needlessly inflating the cost of key materials and members of the House should rapidly approve the bipartisan infrastructure bill.”

View the metro employment datarankingstop 10, and map.

Related Stories

Market Data | Oct 14, 2021

Climate-related risk could be a major headwind for real estate investment

A new trends report from PwC and ULI picks Nashville as the top metro for CRE prospects.

Market Data | Oct 14, 2021

Prices for construction materials continue to outstrip bid prices over 12 months

Construction officials renew push for immediate removal of tariffs on key construction materials.

Market Data | Oct 11, 2021

No decline in construction costs in sight

Construction cost gains are occurring at a time when nonresidential construction spending was down by 9.5 percent for the 12 months through July 2021.

Market Data | Oct 11, 2021

Nonresidential construction sector posts first job gain since March

Has yet to hit pre-pandemic levels amid supply chain disruptions and delays.

Market Data | Oct 4, 2021

Construction spending stalls between July and August

A decrease in nonresidential projects negates ongoing growth in residential work.

Market Data | Oct 1, 2021

Nonresidential construction spending dips in August

Spending declined on a monthly basis in 10 of the 16 nonresidential subcategories.

Market Data | Sep 29, 2021

One-third of metro areas lost construction jobs between August 2020 and 2021

Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem, Mass. and San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif. top lists of metros with year-over-year employment increases.

Market Data | Sep 28, 2021

Design-Build projects should continue to take bigger shares of construction spending pie over next five years

FMI’s new study finds collaboration and creativity are major reasons why owners and AEC firms prefer this delivery method.

Market Data | Sep 22, 2021

Architecture billings continue to increase

The ABI score for August was 55.6, up from July’s score of 54.6.

Market Data | Sep 20, 2021

August construction employment lags pre-pandemic peak in 39 states

The coronavirus delta variant and supply problems hold back recovery.

More In Category

Magazine Subscription

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.


Follow BD+C: