Another Reason to Stay Optimistic

Phoenix No. 2 for Construction Job Gains

Phoenix Business Journal by Kristena Hansen, Reporter

Date: Tuesday, August 28, 2012, 1:52pm MST


Arizona is still struggling with a construction labor shortage in the aftermath of the recession, but the latest federal data shows the local industry is making encouraging strides out of its years-long rut.

The metro Phoenix construction labor force added 5,600 jobs in July compared with a year earlier — the second-highest number of new jobs of added during that period, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data compiled and released Tuesday by the Associated General Contractors of America. The annual job growth rate was 7 percent

The Los Angeles market saw the biggest growth in July with a boost of 7,700 new construction jobs, also a 7 percent gain, from a year ago. The Fort Worth, Texas area came in No. 2 with its addition of 6,200 construction jobs, or an 11 percent rise, during the same period, the report said.

Arizona’s construction labor force overall also grew by 8,200 jobs, or 7 percent, to a total 121,100 in July.

The landscape nationwide, however, was not as encouraging.

Of the 337 metropolitan areas the report examines, almost half saw year-over-year declines in construction jobs and 49 saw no improvement at all. The biggest drop was experienced in the Chicago area with a job loss of 6,500, or down 5 percent from last year.

“Construction employment is healthy in the handful of areas where private sector demand is on the rebound,” Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said in Tuesday’s report. “However, construction employment in most metro areas is suffering from the effects of tepid private sector demand and shrinking public sector construction budgets.”

To see all the BLS construction employment figures by state, click here.

To see such data by rank, click here.


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