Construction employment increased in nearly two-thirds of the 358 metro areas analyzed in 2021, according to the latest government employment data. Officials from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) said labor shortages likely impacted many firms across the country from adding even more workers.
“Construction employment topped year-earlier levels in almost two-thirds of metros for the past few months,” AGC chief economist Ken Simonson said in a prepared statement. “But contractors in many areas say they would have hired even more workers if qualified candidates were available.”
Construction employment increased in 231 metros in 2021, according to the AGC. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas, and Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Ill., added the highest number of construction jobs in the year. Sioux Falls, S.D., and Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas experienced the largest percentage gain in industry jobs during the year.
Of the metro areas that lost construction jobs in 2021, Nassau County-Suffolk County, N.Y., and New York City lost the most jobs, while Evansville, Ind.-Ky., and Napa, Calif., experienced the largest percentage decline in employment. Job openings in construction totaled 273,000 at the end of December 2021, an increase of 30% from December 2020, according to the AGC. AGC officials said the growing number of job openings are a “clear sign” labor shortages are getting worse.