Wisconsin lost 8,000 construction jobs from October 2010 to October 2011, according to data released this week by the Associated General Contractors of America.
In October, 94,000 construction workers were employed in Wisconsin, an 8 percent decline from last year’s figure of 102,000. Wisconsin was one of 25 states that failed to improve upon last year’s employment numbers, according to the AGC’s report.
Ken Simonson, chief economist for AGC, blamed declining money from the federal government, specifically highway and transit work, on the lack of overall improvement. Congress must act by March to either come to a new deal for the reauthorization of federal highway spending or merely approve another extension.
But in the midst of the decline, a portion of southern Wisconsin (and northern Illinois) saw the greatest percent increase in the country during the past year.
The Kenosha County-Lake County, Ill., metro area increased from 12,700 construction jobs in October 2010 to 16,200 jobs this year. That’s a 28 percent hike.
The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metro area in Texas added the most jobs in the past year with 5,100.
The Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis metro area saw a 4 percent decline in construction jobs from 27,700 last year to 26,500 this year. The city of Madison stayed consistent with 12,200 jobs, which includes construction, mining and logging.