Washington saw statewide construction jobs decline by 6,800 jobs between March 2010 and March 2011, new figures from the Associated General Contractors of America show.
That 5 percent decline mirrors a pattern prevalent in most states as the homebuilding industry is still in the doldrums and commercial construction hasn’t picked up since the recession’s official end.
“Even with more metro areas adding jobs than in any 12-month period since November 2007, the fact is most areas are far below previous construction employment peaks,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “With federal stimulus, base realignment and Gulf Coast hurricane-protection projects slated to end soon, many areas are at serious risk of another downturn in construction employment.”
Local numbers: AGC statistics show Tacoma and Olympia construction employment down 5 percent over March last year and construction employment in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area off even more, 7 percent.
Some metro areas, 138 of the 337 measured, have shown construction work force increases, the contractors group said.
National comparisons: Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas added more construction jobs (9,800 jobs, 10 percent) than any other metro area during the past year while Bay City, Mich., added the highest percentage (25 percent, 200 jobs). Other areas adding a large number of jobs included Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill. (3,900 jobs, 4 percent); Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich. (2,800 jobs, 10 percent), and Northern Virginia (2,600 jobs, 4 percent). Large percentage gains also occurred in Flagstaff, Ariz. (24 percent, 400 jobs); Elkhart-Goshen, Ind. (20 percent, 500 jobs), and Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, La. (18 percent, 900 jobs).
The largest job losses were in Atlanta-Sandy Spring-Marietta, Ga. (-6,800 jobs, -7 percent) and New York City (-6,800 jobs, -6 percent), closely followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (-6,600 jobs, -6 percent).