Construction employment increased in 139 out of 337 metropolitan areas between December 2011 and December 2012, declined in 131 and was stagnant in 65, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that growing private sector demand for new construction projects boosted employment in a slight plurality of metro areas.
Pascagoula, Miss. added the highest percentage of new construction jobs (42 percent, 1,900 jobs); followed by Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury, Mass.-N.H. (22 percent, 800 jobs). The largest job losses were in Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. (-4,900 jobs, -5 percent); followed by Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash. (-3,600 jobs, -7 percent).
AGCA says construction employment is benefitting from growing demand for construction, driven primarily by the private sector. It added that the rebounding housing market and relatively strong demand for health care, energy and higher education facilities boosted construction spending levels by over 7 percent for the year through November. But they cautioned that construction spending still was more than $300 billion below peak levels amid declining public sector activity and weaker demand for office, retail and lodging.
View more construction employment figures by state and rank.