Construction employment rose 3% statewide between January 2011 and January 2012 according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America. However the new construction employment data comes out amid growing concerns within the business community about Washington’s failure to enact a number of long-term infrastructure measures.
The Greensboro-High Point metro area experienced an 11 percent increase in construction job growth (1,400) between January 2011 & January 2012. Both the Asheville and Winston-Salem metro areas had a 9 percent increse in construction employment. (600 jobs). The largest job losses were recorded in Wilmington (-900 jobs, -10 percent), followed by Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton (-300 jobs, -3 percent).
The mixed construction employment results reflect the conflict between slowly rebounding private sector demand for construction and declining public sector investments,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “For every metro area that is adding construction jobs, there is another one where construction employment continues to fall or is stagnant.”
Association officials said that the relatively mixed construction employment numbers would have been much better if Washington wasn’t years late in passing a number of key infrastructure measures to fund highway, transit, water and utility maintenance and upgrades. They noted that hundreds of contractors gathered this week in Washington, D.C. to push for action of highway and transit legislation as part of the “Rally for Roads,” for example.
“What makes these jobs figures so frustrating is that they could, and should, have been much better,” said the association’s chief executive officer, Stephen E. Sandherr. “There is a growing sense among the broader business community that the economy is being held back by Washington’s failure to reach agreement on legislation everyone agrees is essential.”
View construction employment figures by state metro areas Here.