Majority of US areas add construction jobs

By Catrin Jones03 December 2021

Nearly two out of three US metro areas added construction jobs between October 2020 and October 2021, according to analysis conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America of government employment data.

Construction employment increased in 236 or 66% of 358 metro areas over the last 12 months, declined from a year earlier in 72 metros, and held steady in 50.

Association officials noted that the job gains would likely have been larger and more widespread if firms weren’t dealing with the challenges of both supply chain problems and labour shortages.

Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said, “While it is heartening that construction is recovering from the lows of 2020 in much of the country, the pandemic is still causing major supply-chain problems and is keeping some workers from seeking employment. Those impediments threaten to limit construction employment gains in many metros.”

Association officials urged the Biden administration to continue working to reduce tariffs on key construction materials, and to take additional steps to ease supply chain problems at ports and other shipping facilities. They added that the association was working to recruit more people into the construction industry, and the recently enacted $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill should send a positive message to many workers about the expanding career opportunities in construction.

“Firms are struggling to source materials for projects, coping with rising prices for those materials, all while eagerly searching for workers to put those materials in place,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “We are eager to work with public officials to address supply chain challenges even as we work to recruit more people into high-paying construction careers.”

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