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AGC: Industry employment declines in majority of metro areas

Construction employment declined in 236 out of 337 metropolitan areas between September 2009 and September 2010, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released Thursday by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Meanwhile, the number of metro areas adding jobs – 56 – matched the previous month’s data, indicating the sector remains weak more than a year after the official end of the recession, association officials noted.

The Chicago area lost more construction jobs (20,500 jobs, 15 percent) than any other metro area. Napa, Calif. (1,000 jobs, 33 percent), lost the highest percentage.

Columbus, Ohio added more construction jobs (2,200 jobs, 7 percent) than any other metro area while Hanford-Corcoran, Calif., added the highest percentage (33 percent, 300 jobs).

In Wisconsin, the state shed 2,500 construction jobs in the past year. The Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis areas lost the largest amount of jobs (1,300), while the Madison area lost 500 jobs in the last year. No area within the state, as reported by the AGC, added jobs in the past year. Eau Claire, Green Bay, Janesville, La Crosse, Fond du Lac and Wausau remained level with their employment.

While the stimulus and other temporary federal construction spending have helped offset some construction employment declines, other measures are still needed to boost construction demand, association officials said. They cautioned, in a news release, that Congress and the Administration have yet to act on several key measures in the association’s construction recovery plan, including passing multi-year water, transportation and energy investment bills, and making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent.


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