Construction employment grew in 218, or 61 percent, out of 358 metro areas between March 2018 and March 2019, declined in 83 (23 percent) and was unchanged in 57, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America. Meanwhile, new federal data on construction spending showed mixed results, as a steep decline in single-family homebuilding offset increases in multifamily and nonresidential construction. Association officials said the continuing demand for most construction underscores the need for federal enactment of immigration reforms to boost the supply of workers.
“Fewer metros than in recent months recorded construction employment gains over the past year,” said Ken Simonson, the AG’s chief economist. “However, the ongoing increase in spending on most categories of construction suggests that the lack of job growth is more likely due to a scarcity of qualified workers rather than a slowing of demand. In fact, there was a record number of job openings in construction going into March.”