BVM - Nov, 2014 - page 9

Business View - November 2014 9
association. “But there is a growing risk that contractors
in many of these regions will have trouble finding quali-
fied workers to complete the rising volume of projects.”
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas added the largest
number of construction jobs in the past year (13,500
jobs, 7 percent), followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-
Glendale, Calif. (10,100 jobs, 9 percent), Dallas-Plano-
Irving, Texas (9,900 jobs, 9 percent) and Chicago-Jo-
liet-Naperville, Ill. (9,100 jobs, 7 percent). The largest
percentage gains occurred in Owensboro, Ky. (33 per-
cent, 900 jobs), Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin,
Fla. (26 percent, 1,000 jobs), Lake Charles, La. (25 per-
cent, 2,700 jobs) and Pascagoula, Miss. (24 percent,
1,500 jobs).
The largest job losses from September 2013 to Sep-
tember 2014 were in Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz.
(-6,900 jobs, -7 percent), followed by Bethesda-Rock-
ville-Frederick, Md. (-4,100 jobs, -12 percent), Edison-
New Brunswick, N.J. (-2,800 jobs, -7 percent) and Gary,
Ind. (-2,800 jobs, -16 percent). The largest percentage
decline for the past year was in Steubenville-Weirton,
Ohio-W.V. (-21 percent, -400 jobs), followed by Gary and
Lewiston, Idaho-Wash. (-15 percent, -200 jobs).
“The job gains have become more widespread but are
still spotty,” Simonson said. He noted that employment
changes can be highly localized. While the Chicago-Jo-
liet-Naperville metro division added more jobs than all
but three other areas, the adjacent Gary division had
some of the largest losses. Similarly, there were large
gains in Cleveland and Philadelphia but substantial job
losses in nearby smaller metro areas.
Association officials noted that a recent construction
industry survey it conducted found 83 percent of con-
struction firms report having a hard time finding quali-
fied craft workers. They called on federal, state and local
officials to act on the measures outlined in the associa-
tion’s workforce development plan to make it easier to
establish new programs designed to prepare students
for high-paying careers in construction.
“Many firms that have begun expanding their payrolls
are finding it hard to locate qualified workers to fill key
positions,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s
chief executive officer. “Unless we find ways to expand
training opportunities for high school students and
young adults, labor shortages are likely to undermine
the industry’s recovery.”
n Employment
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Metro Areas
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