Construction spending climbs in November as 226 out of 358 metro areas add employees: AGC

0
190
agc national employment map

Construction spending rose 4.1 percent from November 2018 to November 2019, while industry employment grew in 226, or 63 percent, out of 358 metro areas, according to a new analysis of federal data recently released by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA). Association officials noted that its recent survey found most contractors are optimistic about the dollar value of projects available and expect to keep adding workers in 2020 but they are finding it hard to fill positions and anticipate it will continue to be hard to hire employees.

In California, Sacramento/Roseville/Arden-Arcade reported the highest growth in employment, ranking 18th in the nation, with an increase of 6,000 employees (9 percent in the past 12 months.  (El Centro reported a 12 percent growth rate, but the employment base is much smaller).

On the other side of the spectrum, Napa, Riverside-San Bernadino-Ontario and San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande reported 4 percent employment declines. The biggest loss was in Ontario county, reporting a loss of 4,300 workers.

Here is data for some California communities. (Numbers are employment totals in Nov. 2018, Nov. 2019, the percentage change, the number of employees added (lost) and the national ranking.)

  • El Centro, CA Mining, Logging, and Construction 1,700 1,900 12% 200 8
  • Chico, CA Mining, Logging, and Construction 4,700 5,100 9% 400 18
  • Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA Construction 64,200 70,200 9% 6,000 18
  • Merced, CA Mining, Logging, and Construction 2,600 2,800 8% 200 26
  • San Diego-Carlsbad, CA Construction 83,300 89,800 8% 6,500 26
  • Santa Rosa, CA Construction 15,500 16,700 8% 1,200 26
  • Fresno, CA Construction 19,200 20,500 7% 1,300 40
  • Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA Construction 9,000 9,600 7% 600 40
  • Salinas, CA Construction 6,400 6,800 6% 400 56
  • San Rafael, CA Div. Construction 7,900 8,400 6% 500 56
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Div. Construction 151,000 158,200 5% 7,200 89
  • Madera, CA Mining, Logging, and Construction 1,900 2,000 5% 100 89
  • Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA Construction 17,200 18,000 5% 800 89
  • Stockton-Lodi, CA Construction 13,100 13,800 5% 700 89
  • Modesto, CA Mining, Logging, and Construction 10,100 10,500 4% 400 119
  • Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA Div. Construction 76,800 80,000 4% 3,200 119
  • Yuba City, CA Mining, Logging, and Construction 2,800 2,900 4% 100 119
  • Redding, CA Mining, Logging, and Construction 3,500 3,600 3% 100 155
  • San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA Div. Construction 44,300 45,600 3% 1,300 155
  • Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, CA Div. Construction 106,600 108,900 2% 2,300 183
  • Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA Mining, Logging, and Construction 4,500 4,600 2% 100 183
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA Construction 48,500 49,200 1% 700 210
  • Hanford-Corcoran, CA Mining, Logging, and Construction 1,100 1,100 0% 0 227
  • Vallejo-Fairfield, CA Construction 11,800 11,800 0% 0 227
  • Bakersfield, CA Construction 16,700 16,500 -1% -200 285
  • Visalia-Porterville, CA Mining, Logging, and Construction 6,200 6,100 -2% -100 298
  • Napa, CA Mining, Logging, and Construction 5,000 4,800 -4% -200 324
  • Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA Construction 106,200 101,900 -4% -4,300 324
  • San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA Mining, Logging, and Construction 8,000 7,700 -4% -300 324

“Both the actual spending totals for November and our members’ expectations for 2020 point to a continuing uptick in construction employment,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “It’s likely that even more metros would have added workers recently if unemployment weren’t at record lows in many areas.”

Construction spending totalled $1.324 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in November, up 0.6 percent from October and up 4.1 percent from November 2018, according to estimates the U.S. Census Bureau released today. There were year-over-year increases in all major segments—public, private residential and private nonresidential.

The Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas metro area added the most construction jobs during the past year (15,400 jobs, 10 percent), followed by Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. (11,000 jobs, 17 percent). Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise had the largest percentage increase, followed by 15-percent gains in Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa (4,500 jobs), Sioux Falls, S.D. (1,300 jobs) and Auburn-Opelika, Ala. (400 jobs). Construction employment set a new high for November in 71 metro areas and a new November low in six areas.

From November 2018 to November 2019, construction employment fell in 77 metros and was flat in 55. The largest declines occurred in New York City (-6,900 jobs, -4 percent) and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. (-4,300 jobs, -4 percent). The largest percentage decreases took place in Danville, Ill. (-17 percent, -100 jobs), Fairbanks, Alaska (-12 percent, -300 jobs) and Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn. (-11 percent, -2,300 jobs).

The new spending and employment data comes as the association’s 2020 Construction Outlook survey found that for each of 13 project types, more contractors expect an increase in 2020 than a decrease in the dollar value of projects they compete for. Three-fourths of the 956 respondents expect to add workers this year, while only 5 percent expect a decrease. However, 65 percent say it will be as hard or harder to hire workers than in 2019, when 81 percent said they had a hard time finding qualified workers to hire.

Association officials added that labor shortages are forcing contractors to boost pay, invest more in training and adopt new labor-saving technologies. But they cautioned that those changes are not enough to allow many contractors to keep pace with growing demand, noting many firms report they have raised bid prices or proposed longer construction schedules because of labor shortages.

“The single greatest threat to continued growth in the construction industry is the shortage of qualified candidates for firms to hire,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “That is why Congress and the Trump administration must act quickly to boost investments in career and technical education and allow more people with construction skills to legally enter the country.”

View the metro employment data, rankings, top 10 and map. View the 2020 Construction Outlook Survey.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.