Good help may be hard to find, but hiring across all construction sectors is on the rise.
According to the Associated General Contractors of America, construction employment has increased in the last year in 215 of 339 metropolitan areas, based on analysis of federal data.
On the other hand, construction employment declined in 80 areas and stayed still in 44 between June 2013 and June 2014, the period for which the data was surveyed.
“Contractors have been expanding their workforce in about two-thirds of the country for several months in a row,” said AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson in a press release. “Some metro areas are adding workers at a strong clip, but the gains remain modest and sporadic in many localities.”
The Dallas-Plano-Irving section of Texas added the most construction jobs - 11,700 for a 10-percent increase. Other high-performing areas included Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.; Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.; and Baton Rouge, La.
The highest-percentage increase was seen by Monroe, Mich., where 600 jobs, or 29 percent, were added. Lake Charles, La. and Pascagoula, Miss. each shot up 25 percent, while El Centro, Calif. saw a 23-percent increase.
On the downslope side, Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick Md., saw the biggest loss in number of jobs, at 4,200, and the second-largest loss in terms of percentage, at 13 percent. In Arizona, the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale area lost the second highest number of jobs at 2,900, which is only 3 percent. Other areas seeing losses included Gary, Ind.; Putnam-Rockland-Westchester, N.Y.; and Cheyenne, Wyo.
AGC officials said uncertainty about federal projects has caused many contractors to remain tentative about hiring.