Construction industry begins to recover jobs

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Construction employment expanded in 56 out of 337 metropolitan areas between August 2009 and August 2010 according to a new analysis of federal employment data released this week by the Associated General Contractors of America.

More cities added construction jobs during the past year than at any point since September 2008, indicating that the worst of the industry’s job losses may be over.

The state of Colorado lost 16,000 jobs overall for the year, bringing statewide employment to 116,700. Colorado Springs was also among the 245 metro areas that lost construction jobs, shedding another 1,200 positions. Construction-related employment in the area stands at 12,700, down 9 percent from last August’s 13,900. Denver fared better, losing only 4 percent of its jobs, while Greeley ended up in the plus column with 3-percent job growth.

“With construction employment on the mend in an increasing number of areas, it appears that the worst is finally over,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “The fact remains, however, that this industry has a long way to go before we see construction employment back to pre-recession levels.”

Kansas City added more construction jobs (2,500 jobs, 13 percent) than any other metro area while Hanford-Corcoran, California added the highest percentage (22 percent, 200 jobs).