Between November 2019 and November 2020, the Dallas-Plano-Irving area added about 3,700 construction jobs, according to a new report by Arlington, Virginia-based Associated General Contractors of America.

The local job gains represent a 2 percent increase year-over-year to about 158,700 jobs in total. To the west, Fort Worth and Arlington lost about 3,800 jobs, a decrease of 5 percent to about 75,100. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic slowing new commercial construction starts, the Dallas-Plano-Irving area remains one of the most active construction markets in the country. Between August 2018 and August 2019, the area added the most construction jobs in the country.

Nationally, construction employment fell in 203 of 358 metro areas between November 2019 and November 2020. Construction employment was stagnant in 33 additional metro areas, while 122 metro areas, or 34 percent, added construction jobs during the past year, AGC reported.

AGC attributed most of the nationwide decline in construction employment to the ongoing pandemic, which forced many contractors to lay off employees once projects that begun before the pandemic were completed. In the wake of the pandemic, few developers have sought to embark on new construction projects, AGC said.

“Canceled and postponed projects appear to be more common than new starts for far too many contractors,” said Ken Simonson, AGC's chief economist, in a prepared statement. “Our association’s 2021 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Survey found three times more contractors have experienced postponements and cancellations than new or expanded projects.”

And AGC warned that many metro areas are likely to continue seeing a decline in construction employment over the next 12 months amid declining demand and continued project cancellations and delays.

Read the full story at Dallas Business Journal

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