Construction employment increases slightly between May and June

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Construction employment in Florida increased slightly between May and June, adding 3,500 jobs or 1 percent to bring the total labor force to 570,300. Interestingly, these percentage numbers also reflect the yearly totals — meaning the state as a whole has held up pretty well despite the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting a different story from most of the nation.

The of new government data, as reported by the Associated General Contractors of America on July 29, reflects nation-wide trends, but doesn’t resolve the overall decline since the pandemic reached the US in March — and the data doesn’t cover the market after the virus resurged in the past month.

Here is the most recent data for several Florida market areas. The numbers include employment figures in May, June, the change in numbers, the percentage change and the national ranking. In smaller communities the totals include mining and logging as well as construction

  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers 32,200 33,100 900 3% 201
  • Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin 7,200 7,200 0 0% 292
  • Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach 14,800 14,800 0 0% 292
  • Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach 46,800 46,900 100 0% 291
  • Gainesville 6,300 6,400 100 2% 240
  • Jacksonville 45,700 45,600 -100 -0.2% 317
  • Lakeland-Winter Haven 15,500 15,400 -100 -1% 319
  • Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall 54,300 55,300 1,000 2% 240
  • Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island 18,100 18,200 100 1% 263
  • North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton 25,700 25,800 100 0.4% 289
  • Ocala 8,800 8,900 100 1% 263
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford 87,400 87,800 400 1% 288
  • Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville 16,600 16,800 200 1% 263
  • Panama City 7,600 7,800 200 3% 201
  • Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent 12,500 12,600 100 1% 263
  • Port St. Lucie 13,000 13,100 100 1% 263
  • Punta Gorda 4,100 4,300 200 5% 126
  • Sebastian-Vero Beach 4,200 4,400 200 5% 126
  • Tallahassee 9,000 9,400 400 4% 156
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater 81,300 82,700 1,400 2% 240
  • West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach 37,600 38,200 600 2% 240

Nationally, construction employment decreased in 225, or 62 percent, out of 358 metro areas between June 2019 and last month despite widespread increases from May to June. Association officials urged government officials to enact liability reform, boost infrastructure investments and extend tax credits to help the industry recover and rebuild.

“It’s troubling to see construction employment lagging year-ago levels in most locations, in spite of a strong rebound in May and June,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Those gains were not enough to erase the huge losses in March and April. Many indicators since the employment data were collected in mid-June suggest construction employment will soon decline, or stagnate at best, in much of the country.”

Simonson noted that construction employment was stagnant in 39 metro areas and increased in only 94 areas (26 percent) over the past 12 months. Eighteen metros had all-time lows for June construction employment, while 28 areas had record highs for June, in data going back to 1990 for most areas.

New York City lost the most construction jobs over 12 months (-38,200 jobs, -24 percent) despite having the largest gain from May to June. Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Mass. had the largest percentage decline: -37 percent (-2,200 jobs). Austin-Round Rock, Texas added the most construction jobs from June 2019 to June 2020: 4,100 jobs (6 percent). Walla Walla, Wash. had the highest percentage increase: 27 percent (300 jobs).

From May to June—a month when construction employment typically increases in most metro areas, 291 metros added construction employees; 42 areas had a decrease; and employment was unchanged in 25 areas. New York City added the most construction jobs between May and June: 22,100 or 22 percent. The largest percentage increase occurred in Monroe, Mich.: 31 percent (500 jobs). New Orleans-Metairie La. lost the most jobs during the month: -1,500 jobs (-6 percent). The largest percentage loss was in Yuba City, Calif.: -10 percent (-300 jobs).

Association officials noted that Senate Republican leaders released a new coronavirus recovery measure earlier this week that includes provisions that can help construction firms rebuild their payrolls. These include liability reforms so construction firms that are protecting workers from the coronavirus will not be subject to needless litigation. The proposal also includes improvement to the Paycheck Protection Program and an expansion of the Employee Retention Tax Credit the association supports.

“While the measure also addresses unemployment insurance and workforce development, it fails to include the kind of infrastructure funding needed to rebuild our economy” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “That new funding is needed to address state transportation funding shortfalls, fix aging public facilities and help retrofit structures to protect students and others from the coronavirus.”

View the metro employment 1-month , , , and 12-month , , , and .

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