Monday, the Associated General Contractors of America released a report based on data from the US Department of Labor (DoL) indicating that 56 metropolitan areas -- out of 337 the DoL itemizes -- added construction jobs in the period from August 2009 to August 2010. They also note that September marked the largest construction job creation since September of 2008.
With construction employment on the mend in an increasing number of areas, it appears that the worst is finally over. The fact remains, however, that this industry has a long way to go before we see construction employment back to pre–recession levels.
-- Ken Simonson, ACG Chief Economist
Looking at the DoL data, it looks like the rate at which construction jobs are being cut has slowed significantly across the United States, with some notable exceptions. In the amalgamated dataset for the construction, mining, and logging industries, the states of Nevada, Idaho, and Vermont showed the largest losses over the previous year, totaling 22,700 fewer jobs in those states.
What's heartening, though, is that 13 states showed an overall increase in the number of jobs available in these industries, with over 38,000 new jobs being created in the past year, with Oklahoma topping the list with over 10,000 new jobs. Across the US, the total change was a 3.5% loss in construction jobs, totaling some 234,000 cut jobs in the year ending August 2010. Though job losses are slowing, unemployment in the construction sector remains almost double the national average, though the US Congress has yet to pass several key infrastructure funding bills.
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Mike Wrightly is mostly diesel fumes and duct tape; he grew up around heavy equipment, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.