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September 2, 2015

Seattle tops the nation in new construction jobs

  • The Seattle area added 10,300 construction jobs, a 13 percent increase, but the AGC said nationwide the gains are “increasingly spotty.”
  • The Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area added more construction jobs over the past year than any other metropolitan area in the country, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.

    The AGC's analysis of federal employment data released Tuesday showed that the Seattle area added 10,300 construction jobs, a 13 percent increase.

    The next two metro areas were Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills in Michigan (9,100 jobs) and Denver-Aurora-Lakewood (8,900 jobs).

    The largest percentage gain was in El Centro, California (28 percent). Wenatchee was third, with a 23 percent gain.

    Nationwide, construction employment increased by 231,000 (3.8 percent) between July 2014 and July 2015.

    But construction employment increased in fewer than half of U.S. metro areas over the past 12 months, the weakest expansion since late 2011.

    “Although construction employment and spending are still expanding well overall, the gains are increasingly spotty,” said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist, in a news release. “Uncertainty over funding for transportation infrastructure, a contraction in oil and gas drilling, and turmoil in international markets have left many local construction markets behind even as others grow strongly.”

    The largest job losses were in the Fort Worth-Arlington area of Texas, which lost 3,300 jobs. Other weak areas were New Orleans-Metairie (2,700 lost jobs) and Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula in Mississippi (2,100 lost jobs).

    A report last month from the AGC showed that Washington state was third in the nation for construction job growth over the year ending in July. The Evergreen State added 15,300 jobs over the year.

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