190 metro areas see rise in construction employment

New data from the Associated General Contractors of America shows that there has been an increase in construction employment in 190 of the 358 metro areas throughout the United States.

From November 2014 to 2015, the areas with the highest growth include New York City, West Virginia (Weirton-Steubenville) and Ohio. Regions with declines in construction employment during the same period include Texas (Fort Worth-Arlington) and Mississippi (Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula).

Experts attribute the increased employment to companies finding more workers that they can afford to hire.

“Construction employment is expanding in more parts of the country now that firms appear to be having more success finding workers to hire,” Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said. “Firms may not be able to continue expanding their headcounts as rapidly unless public officials increase investments in career and technical education programs.”

Despite this good news, officials of the association are concerned about the ongoing lack of technical and career training programs for new employees.

“It will only take a few modest investments in career and technical education to give thousands of young people a chance to earn a good living working in construction,” Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer, said. “Without more programs to expose students and young adults to basic construction skills, the industry will continue to struggle with worker shortages for years to come.”

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