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Despite a strong recovery in the residential construction and remodeling and replacement market segments, construction employment decreased from the last month prior to the pandemic (February 2020) and April 2021 in 107 metro areas, according to an analysis of government data by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Employment was stagnant in another 34 metros in the same time period.

The AGC said construction employment in many parts of the country is being undermined by pandemic-induced project delays, material price spikes and shortages, and difficulties finding labor.

“It is disturbing to see that nearly one-third of the nation’s metro areas had lower construction employment totals in the mild weather and strongly rebounding economy of April 2021 than in the winter of 2020,” Ken Simonson, chief economist for the AGC, said in a prepared statement. “Ever-growing supply-chain bottlenecks and record prices for numerous construction materials threaten to further chill demand for job gains in many metros.”

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas; New York City; Midland, Texas; Odessa, Texas; and Lake Charles, La., lost the largest number of construction jobs over the 14-month period between February 2020 and April 2021. Odessa, Lake Charles, Midland, Laredo, Texas; and Longview, Texas experienced the largest percentage decline in employment over the same period.

Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind.; Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Ill.; and Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash., added the most construction jobs between February 2020 and April 2021. Sierra Vista-Douglas, Ariz.; Fargo, N.D.-Minn.; and Lawrence-Methuen Town Salem, Mass.-N.H., experienced the highest percentage increase in employment in the 14-month period.