In a difficult period for construction nationwide, Phoenix led in industry job growth

12 | 01 | 2021

In a time period when only one-third of metros in the country added construction jobs, the Phoenix area led the pack for job growth in the industry.

Article originally posted here.

According to data from the Associated General Contractors, in the 12-month period that ended in November 2020, only 34% of U.S. metros gained construction jobs. Around the country many contractors have had to lay off large numbers of employees after finishing a big job because the pandemic has created uncertainty and unwillingness for some companies to commit to new projects. In 57% of metros, construction employment fell during the 12-month period, and remained stagnant in 33%.

The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area saw an increase of 4,700 construction-related jobs, an increase of 3%.

While the growth topped the nation overall for the time period, it is much smaller than historic gains for that time period in previous years. During the time period that ended November 2019, the Phoenix metro gained 6,600 new construction jobs, and in the period that ended in November 2018, the metro added 17,500, according to AGC data.

“Construction employment is likely to fall further in many parts of the country as the coronavirus continues to weigh on demand for nonresidential projects,” Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC’s CEO, said in a statement. “Unless market conditions change rapidly, this year is likely to prove very challenging for many construction employers.”

The Houston metro experienced the worst construction job loss during the period, with a loss of 22,500 construction jobs.

Some of the job growth likely came from the construction of industrial space as a record amount of square footage was projected to be built in the Valley in 2020, according to CoStar Group Inc.

Phoenix saw a decrease in the value of construction starts in November for both residential and nonresidential projects, according to data from Dodge Data & Analytics. In November 2020, $330 million worth of nonresidential construction projects began construction in November, a 20% decrease in value from November 2019. About $702 million worth of residential construction projects, which include single family and multifamily housing, began construction in November, a 12% decrease.

However, despite the decreases in November, the value of both nonresidential and residential construction starts in 2020 in the Valley remained higher than in 2019. From January through November of 2020, $5.6 billion worth of nonresidential construction projects began construction, a 22% increase from 2019, and $10.5 billion of residential projects began construction, a 25% increase.

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