Contractors group finds positive construction hiring trends in most of U.S.

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The Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) released its latest analysis of federal employment data, which suggested that U.S. construction employment is expected to continue increasing throughout 2016 in most metropolitan areas.

Between December 2014 and December 2015, employment for construction workers has risen in 190 out of 358 major metro areas in the U.S. In the remaining areas, rates remained the same in 63 and decreased in 105.

Metro areas in California, Illinois, West Virginia, Ohio, Alabama, Michigan and Hawaii experienced the most growth. In contrast, Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, Minnesota, Arkansas, California and Washington state metro areas experienced the most declines.

“There were nearly twice as many metro areas adding construction jobs in 2015 as there were areas losing jobs,” Ken Simonson, AGCA's chief economist, said. “Considering current economic trends and our members’ forecasts, many firms should continue hiring workers this year as demand expands.”

AGCA staff said most construction firms are planning to increase their workforces throughout 2016, with demand continuing to rise in various kinds of construction in the U.S.

AGCA's 2016 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook survey found that 71 percent of firms that responded plan to boost their workforces this year. In addition, 70 percent of respondents said they're having trouble finding enough workers who are qualified. AGCA has been calling for industry initiatives to boost recruiting and training to lure new workers into the construction field.

“Most construction firms expect to continue expanding this year,” AGCA CEO Stephen  Sandherr said. “The biggest challenge many firms are facing is finding enough workers to meet available demand.”

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