Thursday, October 01, 2009

96% of U.S. Metro Areas Lost Construction Jobs this Year, Research Finds

From The

Construction employment dropped this year in more than 96% of the country’s metropolitan areas, according to research released today by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Of the 337 metropolitan areas, construction-related jobs plunged in 324 regions between August 2008 and August 2009, according to an analysis of federal employment data.

The Reno-Sparks area of Nevada was the hardest hit, with a 35% dive, followed by the 33% sag in the Duluth region spread over Minnesota and Wisconsin. Construction employment in Tucson plummeted 31%, and it slumped 30% in Wenatchee, Wash.

Several California areas suffered deep declines. Construction jobs in Redding dipped 28%, while employment in the construction, mining and logging sectors in El Centro dropped 27%. The Riverside, San Bernardino and Ontario region, as well as the Sacramento, Arden-Arcade and Roseville area saw construction jobs slide 23%. Construction, mining and logging work fell 23% in the Santa Cruz and Watsonville zone.

Statewide, California’s construction employment numbers dropped 19%, from 798,400 workers to 650,200. Construction jobs in the Los Angeles, Long Beach and Glendale division fell 12%, from 145,400 workers to 127,300. The best performer in the state was the Hanford-Corcoran metropolitan area in Central California, which was ranked 95% nationwide with an 8% drop in construction, mining and logging jobs....

...The 13 areas around the country that had an upward trend in construction employment collectively had 2,800 more jobs.

The construction industry overall has lost 1 million jobs.Only Columbus, Ind., enjoyed a double-digit increase, with a 14% rise in construction employment. The number of jobs in Anderson, Ind., rose 6%, while Tulsa, Okla.; Longview, Wash.; and Baton Rouge, La., each had a 3% jump.

The numbers were paired with a new plan from the Associated General Contractors to try to revive the construction industry. “Build Now for the Future: A Blueprint for Economic Growth” would focus on stimulating new construction in the private sector by repealing the alternative minimum tax, boosting and extending tax credits and cuts, and investing in infrastructure.

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