Sacramento area gains construction jobs as most other communities in California and nationally decline: AGC

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While the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted construction employment levels in most of the country, including California, there are exceptions.

The Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade area gained 3,500 jobs (5 percent) in the past year, making it one of the top ranked metro areas in the nation for construction employment, according to data analyzed by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA).

Overall construction employment in the state’s capital city region increased from 68,600 in January, 2020 to 72,100, a 5 percent increase. By percentage ranking, this put the area 27th in the nation

Conversely, construction employment declined by 10 percent in the San Francisco area and 4 percent in Los Angeles.

These declines were common to nearly two-thirds of the nation’s metro areas, according to government employment data, as project cancellations and a lack of new orders have forced firms to reduce their headcount, the AGC’s latest contractor shows. Association officials said more layoffs are likely for the industry amid spiking materials prices and uncertain demand for new projects.

Data for California communities is listed below, with numbers representing employment levels in January 2020, 2021, the actual jobs decrease (increase), percentage change, and national rank.

  • California Statewide Construction 876,100 851,800 -24,300 -3%
  • Statewide Mining, Logging, and Construction 897,600 870,300 -27,300 -3%
  • Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine Div. Construction 105,300 101,500 -3,800 -4% 211
  • Bakersfield Construction 16,100 14,600 -1,500 -9% 304
  • Chico Mining, Logging, and Construction 4,200 3,900 -300 -7% 273
  • El Centro Mining, Logging, and Construction 2,000 1,600 -400 -20% 352
  • Fresno Construction 18,800 18,000 -800 -4% 211
  • Hanford-Corcoran Mining, Logging, and Construction 900 1,000 100 11% 7
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale Div. Construction 151,000 144,700 -6,300 -4% 211
  • Madera Mining, Logging, and Construction 1,900 1,900 0 0% 93
  • Merced Mining, Logging, and Construction 2,700 2,500 -200 -7% 273
  • Modesto Mining, Logging, and Construction 9,800 9,400 -400 -4% 211
  • Napa Mining, Logging, and Construction 4,200 3,900 -300 -7% 273
  • Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley Div. Construction 73,900 73,200 -700 -1% 136
  • Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura Construction 16,900 16,300 -600 -4% 211
  • Redding Mining, Logging, and Construction 3,800 3,600 -200 -5% 241
  • Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario Construction 106,700 106,900 200 0.2% 92
  • Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade Construction 68,600 72,100 3,500 5% 27
  • Salinas Construction 6,500 6,200 -300 -5% 241
  • San Diego-Carlsbad Construction 83,300 81,900 -1,400 -2% 155
  • San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco Div.Construction 45,800 41,000 -4,800 -10% 317
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara Construction 52,500 48,500 -4,000 -8% 290
  • San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande Mining, Logging, and Construction 8,400 7,800 -600 -7% 273
  • San Rafael Div. Construction 7,400 7,100 -300 -4% 211
  • Santa Cruz-Watsonville Mining, Logging, and Construction 4,400 4,300 -100 -2% 155
  • Santa Maria-Santa Barbara Construction 9,000 8,700 -300 -3% 177
  • Santa Rosa Construction 16,300 15,600 -700 -4% 211
  • Stockton-Lodi Construction 13,000 12,500 -500 -4% 211
  • Vallejo-Fairfield Construction 11,500 10,100 -1,400 -12% 328
  • Visalia-Porterville Mining, Logging, and Construction 6,400 6,200 -200 -3% 177
  • Yuba City Mining, Logging, and Construction 2,700 2,400 -300 -11% 323

“More contractors are telling us they are cutting headcount than adding workers, which is consistent with the new data showing the industry is shrinking in many parts of the country,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “More than three-fourth of the firms said projects had been postponed or canceled, while only one out of five reported winning new work or an add-on to an existing project in the previous two months as a result of the pandemic. That imbalance makes further job losses likely in many metros.”

Construction employment fell in 225, or 63 percent, of 358 metro areas between January 2020 and January 2021. Industry employment was stagnant in 41 additional metro areas, while only 92 metro areas—26 percent—added construction jobs.

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas lost the largest number of construction jobs over the 12-month period (-32,900 jobs, -14 percent), followed by New York City (-23,000 jobs, -15 percent); Midland, Texas (-11,100 jobs, -29 percent); and Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Ill. (-10,400 jobs, -9 percent). Lake Charles, La. had the largest percentage decline (-40 percent, -8,100 jobs), followed by Odessa, Texas (-37 percent, -7,600 jobs); Midland; and Laredo, Texas (-27 percent, -1,100 jobs).

Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, Calif. added the most construction jobs over 12 months (3,500 jobs, 5 percent), followed by Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind. (3,100 jobs, 6 percent); Boise, Idaho (2,500 jobs, 9 percent); and Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (2,100 jobs, 2 percent). Sierra Vista-Douglas, Ariz. had the highest percentage increase (42 percent, 1,000 jobs), followed by Bay City, Mich. (18 percent, 200 jobs); and Auburn-Opelika, Ala. (15 percent, 400 jobs).

Association officials are urging Congress and the Biden administration to work together to address rising materials prices, supply chain backups and invest in infrastructure. They are asking the administration to end tariffs on key construction materials, including steel and lumber, work with shippers to get deliveries back on track and pass the significant new infrastructure investments the president has promised.

“The construction industry won’t be able to fully recover and start adding jobs in significant numbers as long as materials prices continue to spike, deliveries remain unreliable and demand remains uncertain,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Federal officials can’t fix every problem, but they can help by removing tariffs, helping hard-hit shippers and boosting investments in the nation’s infrastructure.”

View the metro employment 12-month , , , . View AGC’s .

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