8 things to know – Orange County Register

The Inland Empire — and California overall — were ranked as the nation’s hot spot for construction jobs in April.

The Associated General Contractors of America’s monthly analysis of jobs data showed these eight trends in industry hiring for the 12 months ended in April:

1. Riverside and San Bernardino added 14,600 construction jobs, or 16 percent — the largest job increase among major metropolitan areas.

2. Next was Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., (up 8,900 jobs, 13 percent); Las Vegas (up 8,500 jobs, 16 percent); Atlanta (up 6,800 jobs, 6 percent) and San Diego (up 6,300 jobs, 8 percent).

3. Los Angeles County added 5,800 jobs, or 4 percent. Orange County added 3,000 jobs, or 3 percent.

4. Construction employment increased in 217 out of 358 metro areas, fell in 89 and was flat in 52. Worst? Houston (off 7,600 jobs, or 3 percent); St. Louis (off 4,000 jobs, or 6 percent); and Chicago (off 3,800 jobs, or 3 percent).

5. On a state level, California added a U.S.-best 38,000 jobs, or 4.9 percent. Next was Florida (up 34,400 jobs, or 7 percent); Washington (up 11,200 jobs, or 6 percent); Nevada (up 9,700 jobs, or 13 percent) and Michigan (up 8,200 jobs, or 5 percent).

6. Overall, construction jobs were up in 39 states; fell in nine states and the District of Columbia, and was flat in two. Worst? Illinois (off 6,600 jobs, or 3 percent), Mississippi (off 3,600 jobs, or 8 percent) and Maryland (off 1,400 jobs, off 1 percent).

7. Nationwide construction employment hit 6.88 million in April, the highest level in nine years. The 2.6 percent annual growth rate compares to a 1.6 percent increase for all jobs.

8. Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, blames worker shortages for many of the dips: “If the labor market remains tight, firms may have to adjust their business practices as they shift limited personnel from one project to the next.”

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