Construction Employment Has Remained Flat or Declined in 101 Metro Areas Since February 2020

According to an analysis provided by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), taken from data recently released the Department of Labor, construction employment declined or stagnated in 101 metro areas between February 2020 — the month prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — and June of 2021. Association officials said that labor shortages and supply chain problems are keeping many firms from adding workers in many parts of the country.

In a statement prepared for the release of the AGC’s analysis, Kenn Simonson, the association’s chief economist said, “Typically, construction employment increases between February and June in all but 30 metro areas. The fact that more than three times as many metros as usual failed to add construction jobs, despite a hot housing market, is an indication of the continuing impact of the pandemic on both demand for nonresidential projects and the supply of workers.”

Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer, in addressing the construction employment situation, more bluntly, said “Federal officials may talk about the value of craft careers like construction, but they are failing to put their money where their mouth is. Until we expose more people to construction careers…the construction industry is likely to have a hard time recovering from the pandemic.”

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