Construction employment declined in 111 out of 337 metropolitan areas between January 2011 and January 2012, according to the AGC. The Associated General Contractors of America also reported that employment increased in 169 cities and stayed level in 57.

“The mixed construction employment results reflect the conflict between slowly rebounding private sector demand for construction and declining public sector investments,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “For every metro area that is adding construction jobs, there is another one where construction employment continues to fall or is stagnant.”

The largest job losses were in the Florida cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater. Atlantic City and Hammonton, N.J., added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the period.

Association officials said that the construction employment numbers would have been much better if Washington wasn’t years late in passing a number of key infrastructure measures to fund highway, transit, water and utility maintenance and upgrades.

“What makes these jobs figures so frustrating is that they could, and should, have been much better,” said the association’s chief executive officer, Stephen E. Sandherr. “There is a growing sense among the broader business community that the economy is being held back by Washington’s failure to reach agreement on legislation everyone agrees is essential.”