Construction employment in the region increased by 9 percent over a 12-month period, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Total construction employment in February 2015 for San Diego was 65,600 and increased by 5,800 to 71,400 for February 2016. San Diego ranked 55th with 11 other metropolitan areas, including Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario and Stockton-Lodi.
The Associated General Contractors analyzed federal employment data and found that construction employment increased in 234 of the 358 metropolitan areas. Employment was unchanged in 52 metropolitan areas and declined in 72, the industry group reported.
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine added the most construction jobs within the year, 12,500 or 15 percent growth. The largest job losses within that time were in Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas, with a loss of 4,100 jobs (a 6 percent loss).
Ken Simonson, the Associated General Contractors’ chief economist, said in a press release that the demand in many parts of the country for projects resulted in robust construction job growth, but energy-producing areas appeared to be suffering from lower prices for coal, oil and natural gas products, which cut into demand for construction services.
Workforce shortages over the last several years may have an impact on future construction employment growth, officials said.
“Considering the strong demand for construction many parts of the country are experiencing, it is tempting to imagine how many more people firms would have hired had they been able to find more qualified workers,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the Associated General Contractors’ chief executive officer, in the release. “Assuming demand for construction continues to grow, most firms will have an even harder time finding, recruiting and preparing new workers.”