Construction employment increased in 11 of the 12 metropolitan statistical areas in Wisconsin between December 2017 and December 2018 and held steady in only one.
Drawing on federal data, the Associated General Contractors of America reported that construction employment increased in the Appleton, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Janesville-Beloit, Madison, Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Oshkosh-Neenah, Racine, Sheboygan and Wausau areas in the year-long period leading up to December 2018. The only place where it remained unchanged was the La Crosse-Onalaska area.
That put most Wisconsin metros among the 273 out of358 metropolitan areas throughout the country where construction employment rose from December 2017 to December 2018. AGC officials said the increases most likely would have been greater had it not been for the industry’s persistent shortage of skilled labor.
“There were 278,000 job openings in construction at the end of November, a record for the month, so it’s likely that more metro areas would have had job gains in December if contractors had been able to find qualified workers,” said Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist.