Miami, Orlando, Tampa thrive with double-digit construction employment growth: AGC

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The Miami area reported ranked ninth nation-wide in construction employment growth between March 2015 and March 2016 according to federal employment data analyzed by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

The Orlando and Tampa areas also reported significant job growth rates at 14 percent and 11 percent respectively, while conditions were not so good in West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, which reported a 2 percent decline and Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, which had a 3 percent drop.

Nation-wide, construction employment increased in 244 out of 358 metro areas, was unchanged in 44 and declined in 70 between March 2015 and March 2016, the AGC reported. Association officials said the new figures show that the construction sector, in most parts of the country, continues to recover from its years-long downturn.

“With more than two-thirds of the nation’s metro areas adding construction jobs it is clear that the demand for construction is broad-based geographically and by project type,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, adding that construction employment hit new peak levels in 31 metro areas. “The main soft patch for the construction industry remains the parts of the country most likely to be affected by declining energy prices.”

Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. added the most construction jobs during the past year (11,900 jobs, 14 percent). Other metro areas adding a large number of construction jobs include New York City (9,000 jobs, 7 percent); Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. (8,500 jobs, 8 percent). The largest percentage gains occurred in El Centro, Calif. (45 percent, 1,000 jobs); Monroe, Mich. (36 percent, 800 jobs) and Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury Town, Mass.-N.H. (28 percent, 1,000 jobs).

The largest job losses from March 2015 to March 2016 were in Odessa, Texas (-2,700 jobs, -14 percent), followed by Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (-2,600 jobs, -4 percent); Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio (-2,500 jobs, -8 percent) and Midland, Texas (-2,200 jobs, -8 percent). The largest percentage declines for the past year were in Bloomington, Ill. (-15 percent, -400 jobs); Odessa; Grants Pass, Ore. (-13 percent, -100 jobs); Decatur, Ill. (-13 percent, -400 jobs) and Laredo, Texas (-13 percent, -600 jobs).

Association officials said the new employment figures are encouraging, but cautioned that workforce shortages are likely to grow as the industry continues to expand. They noted that 70 percent of firms, according to the association’s annual Outlook survey, report they are already having a hard time finding qualified workers. Those shortages will only get more severe considering the lack of secondary-level programs to recruit and prepare future construction workers, they added.

“As firms add to their backlog of pending projects, the backlog of available workers continues to shrink,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “It is time to start sending signals to students that there are multiple paths to success in life, and while college and office jobs are one path, high-paying careers in construction offer another, equally viable option.”

Here is data for Florida communities. In some areas the category includes “mining” and “logging” though undoubtedly most of the employment is in construction.

The listing reads from left to right:

Community, number of employees in March 2015, number of employees March 2016, percentage change, numeric gain/loss, and national ranking.

You can view the nation-wide data here.

Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall 39,100 46,100 18% 7,000 9

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford 58,000 66,300 14% 8,300 20

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Construction 62,400 69,100 11% 6,700 39

Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL Const, mining, logging 11,800 12,700 8% 900 78

Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL Const, mining, logging 21,300 22,900 8% 1,600 78

Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL Div. Construction 39,500 42,100 7% 2,600 104

Punta Gorda, FL Const, mining, logging 3,300 3,500 6% 200 126

Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL Const, mining, logging 3,200 3,400 6% 200 126

Jacksonville, FL Construction 34,400 36,300 6% 1,900 126

Panama City, FL Const, mining, logging 4,400 4,600 5% 200 150

Tallahassee, FL Const, mining, logging 6,500 6,800 5% 300 150

Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL Const, mining, logging 10,800 11,300 5% 500 150

Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL Const, mining, logging 13,100 13,800 5% 700 150

North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL Const, mining, logging 19,700 20,600 5% 900 150

Gainesville, FL Const, mining, logging 4,600 4,800 4% 200 169

Port St. Lucie, FL Const, mining, logging 8,300 8,600 4% 300 169

Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL Const, mining, logging 10,700 11,100 4% 400 169

Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL Const, mining, logging 9,600 10,000 4% 400 169

Ocala, FL Const, mining, logging 6,300 6,400 2% 100 230

West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, FL Div. Construction 29,500 28,900 -2% -600 293

Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL Const, mining, logging 5,800 5,600 -3% -200 308

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