Salt Lake City and Jacksonville see most construction job growth

By Lewis TylerApril 14, 2022

From February 2020 to February 2022, there were 364,000 job openings in construction, the most since data started to be compiled in 2001

Employment in the U.S. construction sector has seen increases in nearly three-fifths of metro areas, according to new data released by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), but contractors still aren’t able to hire as many workers as they want.

The data has shown that Salt Lake City, Utah added the most construction jobs with 5,100 openings or 11%, followed by Jacksonville, Florida with 4,800 jobs at 10%.

Walla Walla, Washington had the highest percentage gain with 36% or 400 jobs, followed by Decatur, Illinois at 32% or 900 jobs.

The analysis, which focuses on the period from February 2020 to February 2022, revealed that at the end of time studied, there were 364,000 job openings in construction, the most since data started to be compiled in 2001.

Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist, revealed this exceeded the 342,000 workers hired by construction firms, which “implies contractors wanted to hire twice as many employees as they were able to.”

“The rebound in construction employment in most metropolitan areas show there is high demand for infrastructure, nonresidential buildings and housing. But contractors in many areas say they would hire even more workers if there were enough qualified candidates,” said Simonson.

Despite the increase, 40 areas have seen construction employment decline, with New York City (-25,500 or -16%), Houston, specifically the Woodlands-Sugar Land area, Texas (-23,400 jobs, -10%) and Baton Rouge, Louisiana (-6,800 jobs, -14%) losing the most jobs.

Through the ‘Construction is Essential’ targeted digital advertising campaign and the ‘Culture of Care’ program that it designed to help firms retain new workers, AGC is looking to recruit more people into the industry.

Career and technical education teaches essential skills and exposes a broader range of people to the many career opportunities available in construction,” said AGC chief executive officer Stephen E. Sandherr.

“Helping encourage more people to pursue high-paying construction careers will keep America building and contribute to broader economic growth.”

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