The shortage in skilled laborers has long been and continues to be a big concern facing the construction industry. While many parts of the country have experienced employment growth in the construction industry, there are many other regions that have not.
According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), from February 2015 to February 2016, almost two-thirds of metropolitan areas, approximately 250, experienced an increase in employment. This compares favorably to the 52 metro areas that remained unchanged and the 72 metro areas that experienced a decline. In spite of the growth in many metro areas, the employment news isn’t all positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of open jobs in the construction sector increased by 193,000 in February 2016, which represents the single largest one-month increase since July 2007.
Much of the decrease in construction jobs can be tied to energy. States known for energy production such as North Dakota, Alaska, Wyoming, West Virginia and Pennsylvania experienced largest declines in construction employment. While the energy sector is expected to bounce back, a prolonged downturn could have longer-lasting and much more significant impact on the construction industry in these areas.