Construction employment declined in 236 out of 337 metropolitan areas between September 2009 and September 2010, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. The number of metro areas adding jobs – 56 – matched the previous month’s data, indicating the sector remains weak more than a year after the official end of the recession, said association officials.
“The recession may have ended for the overall
economy, but not for construction in most metro areas,” said Ken Simonson, the
association’s chief economist. “Despite tremendous short-term help from the
stimulus, this industry is a long way from experiencing a recovery.”
Chicago area lost15 percent of its construction jobs, more than any other metro
area. Napa, Calif., lost the highest percentage with 33
percent. Other areas experiencing large declines in construction employment
included Las Vegas, Los
Angeles, Houston and Seattle.
added more construction jobs than any other metro area, up 7 percent. Hanford-Corcoran, Calif.,
added the highest percentage of jobs with 33 percent. Other areas adding jobs
included Pittsburgh, Penn.;
the cities of Bethesda, Rockville, and Frederick in Maryland; Kansas City,
Kan.; and Lawton, Okla.(300 jobs, 18 percent). Simonson added that construction
employment was unchanged for the year in another 45 areas.
failure to pass long-delayed infrastructure bills, set annual tax rates or
address costly red tape and regulations is undermining any benefits that came
from the stimulus,” said Stephen Sandherr, the association’s chief executive
officer. “Our worry is that Washington’s
failures will make a bad construction employment situation even worse.”