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AGC: Metro Construction Jobs Down 62%

Monday, August 3, 2020

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The Associated General Contractors of America released a new analysis of government data last week that shows that 62% of metro areas decreased construction employment over the past 12 months.

The association says that despite the rebounds in May and June (81% of metros added jobs in that time period), the industry still needs federal help to rebuild.

“It’s troubling to see construction employment lagging year-ago levels in most locations, in spite of a strong rebound in May and June,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s Chief Economist. “Those gains were not enough to erase the huge losses in March and April. Many indicators since the employment data were collected in mid-June suggest construction employment will soon decline, or stagnate at best, in much of the country.”

The Numbers

The data looked at 358 metro areas and of those, construction employment decreased in 225, was stagnant in 39 and increased in 94. In addition to that, 18 metros had all-time lows for June construction employment, while at the same time, 28 areas had record highs.

ktsimage / Getty Images

The Associated General Contractors of America released a new analysis of government data last week that shows that 62% of metro areas decreased construction employment over the past 12 months.

For comparison, from May to June—a month when construction employment typically increases in most metro areas—291 metros added construction employees, 42 areas had a decrease and 25 were stagnant.

Some specific statistics that AGC highlighted include:

  • The largest percentage increase occurred in Monroe, Michigan, with 31% (500 jobs);
  • New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana, lost the most jobs during the month with -1,500 jobs (-6%); and
  • The largest percentage loss was in Yuba City, California, with -10% (-300 jobs).

The AGC acknowledged that the Senate is working on a new COVID-19 relief measure that includes provisions including liability reforms, improvement to the Paycheck Protection Program and an expansion of the Employee Retention Tax Credit. However, the organization says it’s not enough.

“While the measure also addresses unemployment insurance and workforce development, it fails to include the kind of infrastructure funding needed to rebuild our economy” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s Chief Executive Officer.

“That new funding is needed to address state transportation funding shortfalls, fix aging public facilities and help retrofit structures to protect students and others from the coronavirus.”

Previous Numbers

The first metro analysis in COVID-19 that the AGC released was at the beginning of June, which measured the construction employment from March to April of the same 358 metros. At that time, employment had declined more than 90%.

Over the previous 30 years, 75% of metro areas added construction jobs from March to April, on average, while 12% of metros shed jobs.

At that time, New York City was the hardest hit with the largest number of construction jobs lost—75,900 jobs, or 49% of the March total. Other areas include 44,200 jobs, or 41%, in the Seattle area and 27,200, or 54%, of jobs in the Montgomery, Chester and Bucks County, Pennsylvania, areas.


Tagged categories: Associated General Contractors (AGC); COVID-19; Economy; Good Technical Practice; Industry surveys; Jobs; Market data; NA; North America

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