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Construction Employment Drops in 26 of 28 California Regions
Construction employment declined in 285 out of 337 metropolitan areas between June 2009 and June 2010, according to federal employment figures released this week.
In California, construction employment fell in 26 of 28 regions during the same time period, with the state dropping close to 80,000 construction jobs. A total of 553,000 Californians were employed in the construction industry in June, down 12 percent from the same period a year ago.
Of the state's 28 metro regions, only Hanford-Corcoran gained any jobs, rising from 900 to 1,100 during the 12-month period. Yuba City's employment also remained steady, while the 26 other regions all reported job losses.
Some of the biggest hits came in Southern California, with the Los Angeles area dropping 15,900 jobs, Riverside-San Bernardino 10,800 jobs, and Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine 9,900 jobs. Los Angeles' job loss, which was a 13 percent drop, was the third highest total in the nation, trailing only Las Vegas and Houston.
The fact that 52 regions in the country added jobs was actually an improvement from recent months, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. But that is no reason to celebrate, according to the AGCA's chief economist.
“While more metropolitan areas have started adding construction jobs, most are still experiencing losses nearly four years after the construction downturn began,” said Ken Simonson in a press release.
Stimulus projects have helped the numbers from being worse, he said, but weak private, state and local demand for construction remains a major issue.
“The industry’s employment picture is only going to get worse unless Congress and the Administration act on long-overdue infrastructure investments programs,” said AGCA CEO Stephen Sandherr. “You have to ask how many more construction workers will lose their jobs once the stimulus runs out.”