Construction employment improves in the past year everywhere in Florida but Miami: AGC

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Most Florida communities — excepting Miami –have fared reasonably well in recovering construction employment in the year between September 2020 and September 2021, with employment gains, some impressive.

But Miami’s story is truly different, according an by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America of government employment data released on Nov. 3.

The Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall area recorded a loss of 1,800 jobs, or 3 percent, ranking the southern Florida metropolitan region 315th in the nation. There were 50,800 construction jobs this September, compared to 52,600 last year.

Statewide totals (including Miami) were the opposite, with a 3 percent gain, or 19,600 jobs. The Port St. Lucie performed the best, gaining 1,300 jobs for an 11 percent increase.

Here are the totals, with numbers representing September 2020, September 2021, the gain/loss, percentage change, and national ranking.

  • Statewide Construction 558,600 578,000 19,400 3%
  • Statewide Mining, Logging, and Construction 564,000 583,600 19,600 3%
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers Mining, Logging, and Construction 32,600 35,200 2,600 8% 47
  • Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin Mining, Logging, and Construction 6,800 7,200 400 6% 98
  • Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach Mining, Logging, and Construction 14,100 15,100 1,000 7% 76
  • Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach Div.Construction 48,400 52,000 3,600 7% 76
  • Gainesville Mining, Logging, and Construction 6,000 6,500 500 8% 47
  • Jacksonville Construction 45,600 48,700 3,100 7% 76
  • Lakeland-Winter Haven Mining, Logging, and Construction 14,900 15,800 900 6% 98
  • Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall Div. Construction 52,600 50,800 -1,800 -3% 315
  • Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island Mining, Logging, and Construction 17,100 17,700 600 4%
  • 161 North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton Mining, Logging, and Construction 26,500 27,600 1,100 4%
  • 161 Ocala Mining, Logging, and Construction 8,600 9,000 400 5% 124
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford Construction 81,300 87,400 6,100 8% 47
  • Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville Mining, Logging, and Construction 16,500 17,000 500 3%
  • 197 Panama City Mining, Logging, and Construction 6,800 7,300 500 7% 76
  • Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent Mining, Logging, and Construction 11,600 12,800 1,200 10% 28
  • Port St. Lucie Mining, Logging, and Construction 12,300 13,600 1,300 11% 17
  • Punta Gorda Mining, Logging, and Construction 4,400 4,500 100 2% 225
  • Sebastian-Vero Beach Mining, Logging, and Construction 4,400 4,900 500 11% 17
  • Tallahassee Mining, Logging, and Construction 8,300 8,700 400 5% 124
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Construction 84,200 86,100 1,900 2% 225
  • West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach Div. Construction 37,600 39,900 2,300 6% 98

In a statement, AGC officials noted that nationally, job losses are occurring in many metro areas as plans to boost investments in infrastructure languish in Washington and firms cope with shortages, delivery delays and construction materials price increases.

“Many metro areas are having a hard time getting back to construction employment levels from last fall that were already low because of the pandemic,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “The challenge is that the economic recovery for the construction industry is being undermined by Washington’s failure to boost infrastructure investments and continuing supply chain disfunction.”

Construction employment declined from a year earlier in 67 metros and held steady in 33. Nassau County-Suffolk County, N.Y. lost the most jobs (-6,000 or -8 percent), followed by New York City (-5,500 jobs, -4 percent); New Orleans-Metairie, La. (-3,100 jobs, -12 percent); Calvert-Charles-Prince George’s, Md. (-3,100 jobs, -9 percent) and Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md. (-2,400 jobs, -3 percent). The largest percentage declines were in Evansville, Ind.-Ky. (-18 percent, -1,800 jobs); New Orleans-Metairie; Fairbanks, Alaska (-10 percent, -300 jobs); Knoxville, Tenn. (-10 percent, -1,800 jobs); Gadsden, Ala. (-9 percent, -100 jobs); Calvert-Charles-Prince George’s; and Victoria, Texas (-9 percent, -300 jobs).

Construction employment increased in 258 out of 358 metro areas over the last 12 months. Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, Calif. added the most construction jobs (9,000 jobs, 13 percent), followed by Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (7,800 jobs, 8 percent); San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif. (7,600 jobs, 9 percent); Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Ill. (6,700 jobs, 5 percent) and Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass. (6,700 jobs, 9 percent). Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas had the highest percentage increase (20 percent, 3,300 jobs), followed by Sierra Vista-Douglas, Ariz. (19 percent, 600 jobs); Waterbury, Conn. (17 percent, 500 jobs); Albuquerque, N.M. (15 percent, 3,700 jobs) and Fargo, N.D.-Minn. (15 percent, 1,400 jobs).

Association officials urged members of Congress in the House to quickly pass an infrastructure bill that already received broad, bipartisan support in the Senate. They also encouraged the Biden administration to explore ways, like temporarily adjusting hours of service rules for drivers, to unclog shipping facilities that how more goods than drivers.

“Washington leaders have the ability to fix our supply chains now while also investing in their long-term efficiency,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “But nothing is going to get fixed with partisan talk and legislative and executive inaction.”

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