BVM - Jan 2015 - page 9

Business View - January 2015 9
country were benefitting from growing demand, yet la-
bor shortages threaten to undermine the sector’s re-
“It is good news that construction employment is now
rising in two-thirds of the nation’s metro areas,” said
Ken Simonson, chief economist for the association.
“But now that the unemployment rate for construction
workers has fallen to a seven-year low, it has become
a major challenge to find qualified workers in many
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas added the largest
number of construction jobs in the past year (16,200
jobs, 9 percent); followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas
(11,000 jobs, 10 percent); Chicago-Joliet-Naperville,
Ill. (9,100 jobs, 7 percent) and Seattle-Bellevue-Ev-
erett, Wash. (8,900 jobs, 12 percent). The largest
percentage gains occurred in Pascagoula, Miss. (24
percent, 1,500 jobs); Fargo, N.D. (19 percent, 1,600
jobs); Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Fla. (18
percent, 700 jobs) and York-Hanover, Pa. (18 percent,
1,700 jobs).
The largest job losses from November 2013 to Novem-
ber 2014 were in Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Md.
(-3,600 jobs, -11 percent); followed by Phoenix-Mesa-
Glendale, Ariz. (-3,000 jobs, -3 percent); Edison-New
Brunswick N.J. (-2,700 jobs, -6 percent); Gary, Ind.
(-2,500 jobs, -14 percent) and Tampa-St. Petersburg-
Clearwater, Fla. (-2,500 jobs, -4 percent). The largest
percentage decline for the past year was in Steuben-
ville-Weirton, Ohio-W.Va. (-39 percent, -900 jobs); fol-
lowed by Cheyenne, Wyo. (-17 percent, -600 jobs);
Fond du Lac, Wis. (-15 percent, -400 jobs) and Gary,
Association officials noted that most contractors report
they are having a hard time finding qualified workers to
fill key positions as demand rebounds. They cautioned
that if labor conditions get even tighter, contractors
will have to pass on new projects, and possibly delay
existing ones, because of a lack of workers. Indeed,
25 percent of contractors reported over the summer
they were already declining to bid on certain projects
because of the lack of available workers.
“It is time to start rebuilding the once robust career
and technical education programs that used to exist
in most school districts around the country,” said Ste-
phen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive
officer. “Without a solid network for preparing future
workers, we are likely to spend much of 2015 talking
about how the construction industry is failing to keep
up with demand.”
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,...122
Powered by FlippingBook