The top 10 US metropolitan areas with the most construction jobs added and lost

Construction workers and scaffolding in silhouette against a sunset Image: Yuttana Studio via Adobe Stock

Construction employment has increased in 306 of 358 metro areas across the US between January 2022 and January 2023, despite a decline in housebuilding activity.

That’s according to analysis by the Association of General Contractors (AGC) of government employment data.

The AGC warned that companies were struggling to find enough skilled workers and called on the federal government to make it easier to hire foreign-born workers.

It attributed continued increases in employment to expected growth in infrastructure, manufacturing and renewable energy-related projects.

Projects that are likely to drive demand for workers include manufacturing plants, data centres and a variety of infrastructure and renewable energy projects.

But AGC officials warned that many of these projects could stall or be cancelled if contractors fail to find enough skilled workers.

Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said, “This report shows construction has been growing nearly everywhere, with jobs being added in 85% of metro areas.

“Despite a decline in homebuilding, contractors in many markets are likely to have trouble finding enough workers to undertake more projects.”

The AGC also analysed the government figures to come up with a list of the top 10 areas with the most construction jobs added and the 10 areas with the most jobs lost year on year:

Top 10 metropolitan areas with most jobs added (Jan 2022-Jan 2023)
Area Industry January 2022 January 2023 12-month gain 12-month change (%)
1 Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Div. Mining, Logging, and Construction 148,200 161,800 13,600 9%
2 Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX Construction 211,300 220,500 9,200 4%
3 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ Construction 144,200 152,600 8,400 6%
4= Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Construction 131,200 139,200 8,000 6%
4= Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV Construction 70,800 78,800 8,000 11%
6 Midland, TX Construction 33,200 40,000 6,800 20%
7 Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA Div. Construction 99,700 106,400 6,700 7%
8 Northern Virginia, VA Mining, Logging, and Construction 77,000 82,700 5,700 7%
9 Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA Construction 75,900 81,100 5,200 7%
10 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Mining, Logging, and Construction 77,700 82,600 4,900 6%

Source: Association of General Contractors

Top 10 areas with most jobs lost (Jan 2022-Jan 2023)


Area Industry January 2022 January 2023 12-month gain 12-month change (%)
1 Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA Construction 73,400 67,200 -6,200 -8%
2 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Div. Construction 146,400 142,400 -4,000 -3%
3 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Mining, Logging, and Construction 77,300 74,000 -3,300 -4%
4 Pittsburgh, PA Construction 53,300 50,800 -2,500 -5%
5 Lake Charles, LA Construction 14,500 12,100 -2,400 -17%
6 St. Louis, MO-IL Mining, Logging, and Construction 68,800 66,800 -2,000 -3%
7 Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS Mining, Logging, and Construction 9,200 7,900 -1,300 -14%
8 Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH Mining, Logging, and Construction 6,800 6,200 -600 -9%
9 Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC Mining, Logging, and Construction 18,200 17,600 -600 -3%
10 Modesto, CA Mining, Logging, and Construction 10,900 10,400 -500 -5%

Source: Association of General Contractors

The metropolitan area of Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas added the most construction jobs (13,600 jobs, a rise of 9%), while Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land Texas saw the second largest increase (9,200 jobs, a rise of 4%).

Meanwhile, construction jobs declined in 29 metro areas and were unchanged in 23 areas.

The largest loss occurred in Sacramento-Arden-Arcade, California (-6,200 jobs, a decline of 8%). That was followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, California (-4,000 jobs, a decline of 3%).

AGC chief executive Stephen E. Sandherr said urged Congress to pass immigration reform to allow more construction workers to enter the US. He also called for more investment in construction-focused training and education programmes.

He said, “We are doing our best to attract and retain a new set of construction professionals.

“Public officials can help put more people into high-paying construction careers by enacting targeted immigration reforms and investing in construction prep programs.”

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