The Associated General Contractors of America report that declining infrastructure investment has led to declining or stagnant construction employment in May. The latest report from AGC follows.
Construction employment declined or was stagnant in 131, or 37 percent, of 358 metro areas between May 2015 and May 2016, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said. The data comes as years of underfunding have contributed to declining highway, transit and other public infrastructure just 60 years after President Eisenhower signed the first interstate highway act.
“Inadequate investment in infrastructure is a major reason for the spotty construction employment gains by metro,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. Simonson also noted that yesterday’s report on gross domestic product showed investment in structures by all levels of government as a share of the economy has fallen to less than half of what it was in the decade after the interstate highway program began, from 3.1 percent to 3.4 percent of GDP between 1957 and 1967 to just 1.6 percent of GDP in the first quarter of this year.
The largest job losses from May 2015 to May 2016 were in Midland, Texas (-1,700 jobs, -7 percent), followed by Odessa, Texas (-1,300 jobs, -8 percent); Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (-1,100 jobs, -6 percent); Bloomington, Ill. (-1,100 jobs, -30 percent) and New Orleans-Metairie, La. (-1,100 jobs, -3 percent). The largest percentage declines for the past year were in Bloomington, Ill.; Fairbanks, Alaska (-15 percent, -500 jobs); Rocky Mount, N.C. (-13 percent, -300 jobs); Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, Ala. (-11 percent, -100 jobs) and Lawton, Okla. (-11 percent, -200 jobs). Construction employment declined in 83 metro areas in the past year, stagnated in 48 areas, and rose in 227 areas.
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. added the most construction jobs during the past year (14,700 jobs, 17 percent). Other metro areas adding a large number of construction jobs include Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. (9,700 jobs, 16 percent); Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale (8,100 jobs, 8 percent); and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. (7,700 jobs, 7 percent). The largest percentage gains occurred in Monroe, Mich. (30 percent, 700 jobs); Honolulu, Hawaii (20 percent, 4,900 jobs); Boise City, Idaho (19 percent, 3,500 jobs); Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine and Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla. (17 percent, 6,800 jobs).
The new employment figures reinforce the need for Congress to act on a number of short and long-term infrastructure measures, association officials said. Most immediately, they urged the House to act on water resources legislation passed by the Senate to invest in waterways and clean water systems. They also urged members of Congress and the administration to work together to find a long-term way to pay for needed repairs to the nation’s aging highways, bridges and transit systems.
“Six decades after bipartisan legislation to connect our country helped sparked widespread prosperity and economic growth, it is time for our leaders to again come together and invest in our infrastructure,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Rebuilding the public infrastructure that Americans have come to take for granted will help employers be more efficient, save commuters thousands of dollars each year and protect the health of all our communities.”
Sandy WilliamsRead more from Sandy Williams
Latest in Steel Markets
Global steel production inches up, China’s falls in October
Global steel output inched higher from September to October, even as production declined in China, the World Steel Association (worldsteel) said in its latest monthly report.
October US housing starts inch higher but remain down on-year
US housing starts crept higher for a second consecutive month in October. Starts were lower, however than the same month last year, according to the most recent data from the US Census Bureau.
Imports Fall in September, But Flat Rolled at Three-Month High
The decline in imports from August to September was more pronounced than license applications suggested earlier this month.
The first rule of Steel 101 is that you’re free to talk about Steel 101. We actually encourage it. Last week on Tuesday and Wednesday, SMU’s Steel 101 was held in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
SMU Survey: Buyers Sentiment Indices Rise
SMU’s Current and Future Steel Buyers Sentiment Indices both increased this week, based on our most recent survey data. Every other week we poll steel buyers about sentiment. The Steel Buyers Sentiment Indices measure how steel buyers feel about their company’s chances of success in the current market, as well as three to six months down the road. We have historical data going back to 2008. Check our interactive graphing tool here.