via the San Antonio Business Journal
The good news is that employment numbers for San Antonio’s construction industry are continuing to rise.
The bad news is that fewer cities are enjoying the same fortune as San Antonio.
In its latest survey of the country’s 337 largest metros, the Arlington, Va.-based Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) found that between March 2011 and March 2012, employment increased in 155 of those cities.
Among the cities included in that figure: The San Antonio/New Braunfels metro — which saw a 7 percent increase in construction employment on a year-over-year basis. To date, the local construction industry is reporting a total of 44,300 employees — up 2,900 from the 41,400 employees reported at the end of March 2011, per the latest AGC report.
The San Antonio/New Braunfels metro area was also among the cities that posted construction employment gains in January and February as well.
Unfortunately, the number of cities actually posting job growth is shrinking.
In January, out of the total 337 metros tracked by AGC, 169 of those cities saw construction employment figures rise. In February, the number was up slightly — with 171 metros seeing employment gains.
Now in March, only 155 of the country’s largest metro areas were reporting construction employment gains.
Another 134 metros reported employment declines; 48 cities reported no change, the AGC analysis states.
Other Texas metros among the 155 that saw construction employment numbers rise between March 2011 and March 2012 are the the Dallas/Plano/Irving metro area, which saw a 1 percent increase in construction employment; and the Fort Worth/Arlington metro area, which reported a 5 percent gain in construction employment.
Meanwhile, the Houston/Sugar Land/Baytown metro area was among the 134 that saw employment figures drop — 1 percent between March 2011 and March 2012.
The Austin/Round Rock/San Marcos region was among 48 metro areas that saw no change in construction employment, AGC states.
Market uncertainty, AGC officials say, continues to hamstring construction-employment growth in many markets. Washington’s failure to approve long-term investment in highway and transportation improvements, for example, is putting the hurt on construction firms that work on these public infrastructure projects, according to the AGC.
“When it comes to politicians talking about the need to support private-sector job creation, construction firms could benefit from less rhetoric and more action,” says Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer for the AGC. “… It would be helpful if Congress and the administration would instead help end much of the uncertainty holding back the industry.”