Employment declines for construction industry
Employment declined in 127 metro areas, was stagnant in 51 and increased in 180, according to an analysis of federal employment data released Wednesday.
Association officials noted that the declines come as the House and Senate struggle to enact legislation to extend federal transportation investments beyond the July 31 expiration of the current program.
“It is hard for construction firms to invest in new employees if they don't know what business conditions will be like for the rest of the year,” Ken Simonson, the chief economist for the association, said. "Many transportation construction firms will be reluctant to expand their headcount until Washington puts in places a long-term highway and transit funding measure.”
The largest job losses from June 2014 to June 2015 were in New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana, followed by Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Mississippi, Bakersfield, California, and Bergen-Hudson-Passaic, New Jersey.
But the largest percentage decline for the past year was in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula and Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Association officials said they are urging motorists to pressure federal officials to pass a long-term, fully funded highway and transit bill.
“Aging roads, unsafe bridges and bad traffic is a national challenge that could easily be fixed,” Stephen Sandherr, CEO of the association, said. “Passing a long-term bill will get our roads and bridges back into shape and save motorists from the cost of bad traffic and bad roads."