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Electrostats: Construction Jobs Show Increase in July

Construction employment gains spread to more metropolitan areas between July 2012 and July 2013 than in previous months, but full recovery remained elusive as only a few areas have exceeded pre-recession employment records, according to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Washington, D.C.

AGC officials said that despite the gains, construction employment remains below peak levels in most metro areas. “The good news is that 201 metro areas added construction jobs in the past year, the largest number with year-over-year gains since March 2012,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “But construction employment is at an all-time July high in only 19 of those areas. At the other extreme, construction employment declined in 90 metros in the last 12 months, and 28 areas have lost at least half of the construction employees they once had.” Construction employment was stable in the past year in 48 metros, he added.

The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas MSA added by far the largest number of construction jobs in the past year out of the 339 metros with construction employment data (13,000 jobs, 7%). Next were Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. (8,400 jobs, 15%) and Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz. (8,400 jobs, 9%). The largest percentage gains since July 2012 occurred in Pascagoula, Miss. (44%, 1,800 jobs), followed by Eau Claire, Wis. (27%, 900 jobs); Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J. (26%, 1,100 jobs); and Fargo, N.D.-Minn. (23%, 1,900 jobs). Fargo exceeded its previous July peak (2008) by 17%, the most of any metro.

AGC said the largest job losses from July 2012 to July 2013 were in Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. (-6,000 jobs, -9%). Despite gains in the past year, Phoenix had the largest decline since its July 2006 peak (-86,500 jobs, -47%).

Total Construction 883.9 889.4 -0.6 855.8

Total Private Construction1

622.8

625.4

-0.4

568

Residential

332.1

332.2

0

281.1

New single family

164.8

166.2

-0.8

128.5

New multi-family

31

32

-3.3

22

Lodging

13.6

13.8

-1.6

10.6

Office

28.5

28.5

-0.1

26.8

Commercial

42.8

45.3

-5.6

42.8

Health care

30.2

30.2

0

31.4

Educational

16.3

17.4

-6.6

16.4

Religious

3.3

3.6

-7.3

3.8

Amusement and recreation

6

6.1

-2.5

5.5

Transportation

11.3

11.3

0.6

11.7

Communication

15.2

14.8

2.3

17.7

Power

76.6

74.2

3.3

72.9

Electric

60.8

58.1

4.7

57

Manufacturing

45.1

45.9

-1.8

46

Public Construction ($ billions)

261.1

264

-1.1

287.8

Residential

6.1

6.2

-2

6.4

Office

8

7.7

4.1

10.8

Commercial

2.6

2.6

2.6

3.3

Health care

11.4

10.9

3.9

11

Educational

59.9

60.2

-0.4

70.8

Public safety

9.5

9.9

-3.6

10

Amusement and recreation

8

7.8

2.7

9.4

Transportation

29.9

29.2

2.4

27.9

Power

11.5

10.9

6

10.5

Highway and street

75

77.1

-2.8

85.5

Sewage and waste disposal

19.9

21

-5.2

21

Water supply

12.7

13.5

-6

12.7

Conservation and development

5.2

5.7

-8.4

6.3

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