Great disparities in construction employment changes by NC metropolitan areas: AGC

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North Carolina’s construction employment changes have varied significantly by metropolitan market area in the past 12 months, ranging from an 11% increase in Fayetteville, to flatness in Greenville and Winston-Salem.

The data comes from an by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America of government employment data released on Nov. 30.

Overall, the state gained 15,900 construction jobs in the months between Oct., 2020 and Oct. 2021, an increase of 7%.

Compared to other communities, Fayetteville ranked 16th in the nation with its gain of 500 jobs.

Here is a detailed breakdown, the number of jobs in Oct. 2020, 2021, the net change and the percentage ranking

  • Statewide Construction 230,200 246,100 15,900 7%
  • Statewide Mining, Logging, and Construction 235,800 251,700 15,900 7%
  • Asheville Mining, Logging, and Construction 9,400 9,700 300 3% 168
  • Burlington Mining, Logging, and Construction 3,200 3,400 200 6% 78
  • Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC Mining, Logging, and Construction 68,800 71,600 2,800 4% 137
  • Durham-Chapel Hill Mining, Logging, and Construction 9,500 10,300 800 8% 38
  • Fayetteville Mining, Logging, and Construction 4,700 5,200 500 11% 16
  • Greensboro-High Point Mining, Logging, and Construction 16,000 16,500 500 3% 168
  • Greenville Mining, Logging, and Construction 3,200 3,200 0 0% 237
  • Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Mining, Logging, and Construction 4,800 5,200 400 8% 38
  • Raleigh Mining, Logging, and Construction 42,300 44,600 2,300 5% 112
  • Rocky Mount Mining, Logging, and Construction 2,500 2,600 100 4% 137
  • Wilmington Mining, Logging, and Construction 9,200 9,700 500 5% 112
  • Winston-Salem Mining, Logging, and Construction 11,800 11,800 0 0% 237
  • Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC Mining, Logging, and Construction 10,500 11,300 800 8% 38
  • Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Mining, Logging, and Construction 39,900 39,900 0 0% 237

Nationally, nearly two out of three U.S. metro areas added construction jobs between October 2020 and October 2021, AGC reports. Association officials noted that the job gains would likely have been larger and more widespread if firms weren’t dealing with the twin challenges of supply chain problems and labor shortages.

“While it is heartening that construction is recovering from the lows of 2020 in much of the country, the pandemic is still causing major supply-chain problems and is keeping some workers from seeking employment,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Those impediments threaten to limit construction employment gains in many metros.”

Construction employment increased in 236 or 66 percent of 358 metro areas over the last 12 months. Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, Calif. added the most construction jobs (6,800 jobs, 9 percent), followed by Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass. (6,600 jobs, 9 percent); Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. (6,400 jobs, 9 percent); Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (5,500 jobs, 5 percent); and Pittsburgh, Pa. (5,200 jobs, 7 percent). Worcester, Mass. had the highest percentage increase (20 percent, 2,000 jobs), followed by Sioux Falls, S.D. (19 percent, 800 jobs); Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (19 percent, 3,200 jobs); Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J. (16 percent, 800 jobs) and Sierra Vista-Douglas, Ariz. (15 percent, 500 jobs).

Construction employment declined from a year earlier in 72 metros and held steady in 50. Nassau County-Suffolk County, N.Y. lost the most jobs (-6,700 or -8 percent), followed by New York City (-5,500 jobs, -3 percent); Orange-Rockland-Westchester counties, N.Y. (-3,600 jobs, -8 percent); Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (-2,800 jobs, -2 percent) and Calvert-Charles-Prince George’s counties, Md. (-2,600 jobs, -8 percent). The largest percentage declines were in Evansville, Ind.-Ky. (-17 percent, -1,700 jobs); Altoona, Pa. (-13 percent, -400 jobs); Watertown-Fort Drum, N.Y. (-11 percent, -200 jobs); and Gary, Ind. (-10 percent, -1,700 jobs).

Association officials urged the Biden administration to continue working to reduce tariffs on key construction materials, and to take additional steps to ease supply chain problems at ports and other shipping facilities. They added that the association was working to recruit more people into the construction industry, and the recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill should send a positive message to many workers about the expanding career opportunities in construction.

“Firms are struggling to source materials for projects, coping with rising prices for those materials, all while eagerly searching for workers to put those materials in place,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “We are eager to work with public officials to address supply chain challenges even as we work to recruit more people into high-paying construction careers.”

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