Construction employment declines in 99 metro areas ac Covid-19 pandemic starts taking its toll

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Construction employment declined in 99 out of 358 metro areas from March 2019 to last month as the coronavirus pandemic triggered the first shutdown orders and project cancellations, according to an released by the Associated General Contractors of America on April 28. Association officials urged federal and state officials to boost investments in infrastructure to help put more people to work amid rising unemployment levels.

Data for Florida communities communities is below. The listings show the number of employees in March 2019, March 2020, the percentage growth rate, the actual employment increase (or decrease) and the national ranking. The data indicates things were best in Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL, where employment grew in the past year by 12 percent — making it the eighth largest percentage growth in the country, and worst in the Punta Gorda, and Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach markets, which saw a 5 percent decline.

  • Florida Statewide Construction 55,960 58,280 4% 2,320
  • Statewide Mining, Logging, and Construction 56,540 58,850 4% 2,310
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL Mining, Logging, and Construction 32,100 33,500 4% 1,400 102
  • Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL Mining, Logging, and Construction 7,000 7,100 1% 100 175
  • Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL Mining, Logging, and Construction 14,200 14,600 3% 400 123
  • Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL Div. Construction 49,100 48,300 -2% -800 272
  • Gainesville, FL Mining, Logging, and Construction 6,000 6,200 3% 200 123
  • Jacksonville, FL Construction 45,400 45,900 1% 500 175
  • Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL Mining, Logging, and Construction 14,100 15,300 9% 1,200 19
  • Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL Div. Construction 53,900 52,600 -2% -1,300 272
  • Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL Mining, Logging, and Construction 17,700 18,500 5% 800 81
  • North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL Mining, Logging, and Construction 26,400 26,700 1% 300 175
  • Ocala, FL Mining, Logging, and Construction 8,300 8,700 5% 400 81
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL Construction 85,100 91,000 7% 5,900 41
  • Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL Mining, Logging, and Construction 14,600 16,400 12% 1,800 8
  • Panama City, FL Mining, Logging, and Construction 6,900 7,400 7% 500 41
  • Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL Mining, Logging, and Construction 12,200 12,900 6% 700 54
  • Port St. Lucie, FL Mining, Logging, and Construction 11,800 12,600 7% 800 41
  • Punta Gorda, FL Mining, Logging, and Construction 4,300 4,200 -2% -100 272
  • Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL Mining, Logging, and Construction 4,400 4,500 2% 100 150
  • Tallahassee, FL Mining, Logging, and Construction 8,900 9,400 6% 500 54
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Construction 80,200 82,200 2% 2,000 150 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, FL Div. Construction 38,600 39,800 3% 1,200 123

“These new figures foreshadow even larger declines in construction employment throughout the country as the pandemic’s economic damage grows more severe,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Unfortunately, the data for April and later months are sure to be much worse. In our latest , more than one-third of firms report they had furloughed or terminated workers—a direct result of growing cancellations.”

The largest percentage decline in construction employment between March 2019 and last month occurred in Laredo, Texas, which lost 19 percent or 800 jobs, followed by Lake Charles, La., which lost 18 percent (4,600 construction jobs). Lake Charles had the largest numerical decrease, followed by New York City, which lost 3,500 construction jobs (2 percent).

Construction employment increased over the year in 205 metro areas and was flat in 54. The largest percentage increases in construction employment occurred in Lewiston, Idaho-Wash. (23 percent, 300 jobs), followed by Walla Walla, Wash. (22 percent, 22 jobs). The largest numerical gain occurred in Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (10,200 jobs, 7 percent).

Association officials noted that new infrastructure investments would help offset some of the sudden and dramatic declines to demand for construction that have taken place since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. They noted, for example, that 68 percent of construction firms report in the association’s April 20-23 that they have had projects cancelled or delayed during the past two months.

“New infrastructure funding will put more people back to work in high-paying construction jobs in communities throughout the nation,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “New infrastructure funding will also give a needed boost to manufacturing and service sector firms that supply construction employers, all of which have been hard-hit by the coronavirus and the related economic shutdowns.”

View AGC’s coronavirus and . View comparative data . View the metro employment , , and .

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