NC construction employment decreased in 11 out of 12 metropolitan areas in the state between May 2010 and May 2011, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that the local employment data reflects the fact that overall construction employment has been unchanged for much of the past year. North Carolina lost a total of 5900 construction jobs (3%) during the the past year. Only the Burlington area construction employment remained the same.
“While construction employment has stopped plunging, any sign of a recovery remains spotty at best,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “The close to even split between areas adding and losing jobs is a reminder that for every market doing well, there is another market that is still hurting.”
Association officials cautioned that construction employment was unlikely to expand as long as economic growth remained relatively restrained. They said demand for new office buildings, retail facilities and lodging would remain depressed as long as current vacancy rates remain high. At the same time, demand for infrastructure and other publicly funded projects was declining for the first time in years amid the winding down of stimulus projects and budget cuts.
“Some in Washington never met a regulation they didn’t like and others never found a penny they didn’t want to pinch,” said the association’s chief executive officer Stephen E. Sandherr. “Together that makes for a bad way to boost employment and a great way to stifle the private sector and neglect critical economic infrastructure.”
View construction employment figures by metro area Here.