Jacksonville gains, Miami and Tallahassee lose construction jobs 2021: AGC

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There are significant variations by Florida community in construction employment levels for the year between January 2021 and January 2022, according to government data reported by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America.

Jacksonville fared the best in the state — gaining 4,000 construction jobs, a 9 percent increase. Conversely, Miami experienced a 1 percent employment decline (400 jobs) and Tallahassee lost 200 jobs for a decline of 2 percent.

Overall, the state gained 14,200 construction jobs, an increase of 3 percent as the state weathered the COVID-19 pandemic.

See detailed local breakdowns below. Data includes employment levels in January 2021, January 2022, the numerical change, percentage change, and national ranking. In smaller markets, mining and logging jobs are lumped in with construction.

  • Statewide Construction 561,400 575,700 14,300 3%
  • Statewide Mining, Logging, and Construction 566,800 581,000 14,200 3%
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers Mining, Logging, and Construction 33,100 33,500 400 1% 244
  • Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin Mining, Logging, and Construction 7,100 7,100 0 0% 262
  • Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach Mining, Logging, and Construction 14,000 14,500 500 4% 140
  • Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach DivConstruction 47,700 48,400 700 1% 244
  • Gainesville Mining, Logging, and Construction 6,100 6,200 100 2% 208
  • Jacksonville Construction 46,000 50,000 4,000 9% 45
  • Lakeland-Winter Haven Mining, Logging, and Construction 15,200 14,500 -700 -5% 344
  • Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall Div. Construction 51,500 51,100 -400 -1% 301
  • Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island Mining, Logging, and Construction 17,300 18,200 900 5% 111
  • North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton Mining, Logging, and Construction 26,600 27,100 500 2% 208
  • Ocala Mining, Logging, and Construction 8,800 9,000 200 2% 208
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford Construction 81,200 83,400 2,200 3% 170
  • Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville Mining, Logging, and Construction 16,800 17,100 300 2% 208
  • Panama City Mining, Logging, and Construction 6,900 6,900 0 0% 262
  • Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent Mining, Logging, and Construction 12,500 12,800 300 2% 208
  • Port St. Lucie Mining, Logging, and Construction 12,300 12,100 -200 -2% 315
  • Punta Gorda, FL Mining, Logging, and Construction 4,600 4,700 100 2% 208
  • Sebastian-Vero Beach Mining, Logging, and Construction 4,300 4,400 100 2% 208
  • Tallahassee Mining, Logging, and Construction 8,100 7,900 -200 -2% 315
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Construction 83,700 85,400 1,700 2% 208
  • West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach Div. Construction 37,600 39,000 1,400 4% 140

“Construction employment is now increasing in most areas after a rough first year of the pandemic,” said AGC chief economist Ken Simonson. “But contractors recently have had more unfilled positions at the end of each month than they have been able to fill.”

Job openings in construction totaled 384,000 at the end of January, an increase of 81,000 or nearly 27 percent from January 2021, according to the government’s latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. That figure exceeded the 259,000 employees that construction firms were able to hire in January, implying firms would have added over twice as many workers if they had been able to fill all openings, Simonson pointed out.

Construction employment rose in 261 or 73 percent of 358 metro areas in 2021. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas added the most construction jobs (10,300 jobs, 5 percent), followed by the Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas metro division (7,600 jobs, 5 percent); Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. (7,100 jobs, 6 percent); and the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. division (4,700 jobs, 3 percent). Cheyenne, Wyo. had the highest percentage gain (47 percent, 1,400 jobs), followed by Lake Charles, La. (21 percent, 3,100 jobs); Weirton-Steubenville, W. Va.-Ohio (21 percent, 300 jobs); and Bloomington, Ill. (20 percent, 500 jobs).

Construction employment declined from a year earlier in 58 metros and was flat in 39. New York City lost the most jobs (-8,100 or -6 percent), followed by the Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, Calif. division (-3,400 jobs, -5 percent) and Northern Virginia, Va. (-2,400 jobs, -3 percent). The largest percentage declines were in Sierra Vista-Douglas, Ariz. (-31 percent, -900 jobs); Danville, Ill. (-17 percent, -100 jobs); Tuscaloosa, Ala. (-9 percent, -600 jobs); and San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, Calif. (-9 percent, -900 jobs).

Association officials said firms would have likely added more workers during the past year if they could have found qualified candidates to hire. They urged federal, state and local officials to create more programs to expose learners and adults to construction skills and career opportunities to ensure more workers benefit from increasing federal infrastructure investments.

“Now that Washington is boosting infrastructure funding, public officials should take steps to encourage more people to pursue high-paying careers in construction,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “This industry has the capacity to put many more people into the American middle class.”

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