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Trade group: Philadelphia lost more construction jobs in 2011 than other metro areas

2/3/2012 | Construction Blog, Real Estate Blog

According to the Associated General Contractors of America, a construction industry trade group, Philadelphia lost more construction jobs than any other metro area in the nation during 2011. The number of jobs reportedly decreased 4,800 between December 2010 and December 2011, making for a 7 percent loss. The data was taken from federal employment information and was not seasonally adjusted.

Of the 337 areas including in the data, Philadelphia had the largest total number of losses, though some areas did see a higher percentage decline. Notably, losses over the selected time period came even as national spending on construction increased 4.3 percent.

After Philadelphia was New York City, with a total loss of 4,600 construction jobs, then Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas, with a total loss of 4,500 jobs. St. Louis, Missouri lost 4,300 jobs. Some portions of New Jersey made out reasonably well over the year in question.

According to the chief economist of the Associated General Contractors of America, there is growing demand in the private sector for new construction in many communities, but many areas are still dealing with construction employment losses as the construction market continues to remain rather weak.

At present, the unemployment rate among construction workers is 16 percent, and the association has predicted a slight increase in construction employment in 2012. Still, modest hiring improvements in 2011 will not do a lot to make up for the two million construction jobs lost since 2007, when the recession hit.

Among the factors holding back the construction market is tight credit, which is making it difficult for customers to get funding to move forward on projects.

Source:, “Construction industry expects more jobs, but only a few,” Jane M. Von Bergen, January 24, 2012.