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Construction employment in August saw its smallest year-over-year increase in nearly three-and-a-half years due to a shortage of available qualified workers, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Construction employment increased in 220, or 61 percent, of 358 metro areas in the past year, the smallest gains since April 2013. However, the level of construction employment remained steady in 62 areas and fell in 76 areas. The greatest year-over-year construction job growth in August was in Colorado’s Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro corridor (11,400 jobs, 12 percent), while the greatest shrinkage was in Texas’ Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land market (a decline in 3,700 jobs, representing a two percent drop),
“Meanwhile, job openings have been at a 10-year high but hiring has stalled in many parts of the country,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Together, these facts make it clear that the slowdown in hiring has more to do with workforce shortages than shortages of work.”