New York City lost the second largest number of construction jobs in the nation over the past 12 months as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, The 17,900 job loss (11 percent) was slightly lower than the losses in the Houston, TX area, which experienced a less severe percentage decline (8 percent) but lost 19,800 jobs.
Overall New York State has fared poorly, with a statewide loss in mining, logging and construction jobs of 386,600 (most of which are in construction), or 8 per cent, between October 2018 and Oct. 2019.
Below is a detailed breakdown by different metropolitan market areas. The data outlines thte total number of construction Jobs in Oct. 2019, Oct. 2020, the change in total number, the percentage change, and finally, the national ranking. The data was compiled by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) using US federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
- Statewide Construction 413,100 381,800 -31,300 -8%
- Statewide Mining, Logging, and Construction 418,700 386,600 -32,100 -8%
- Albany-Schenectady-Troy Mining, Logging, and Construction 21,700 20,600 -1,100 -5% 215
- Binghamton Mining, Logging, and Construction 4,500 3,500 -1,000 -22% 347
- Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls Mining, Logging, and Construction 22,900 22,300 -600 -3% 183
- Dutchess County-Putnam County Div. Mining, Logging, and Construction 9,000 10,200 1,200 13% 6
- Elmira Mining, Logging, and Construction 1,600 1,400 -200 -13% 313
- Glens Falls Mining, Logging, and Construction 2,700 2,400 -300 -11% 293
- Ithaca Mining, Logging, and Construction 1,300 1,200 -100 -8% 259
- Kingston Mining, Logging, and Construction 3,300 3,100 -200 -6% 236
- Nassau County-Suffolk County Div. Mining, Logging, and Construction 84,700 80,100 -4,600 -5% 215
- New York City Mining, Logging, and Construction 159,600 142,300 -17,300 -11% 293
- Orange-Rockland-Westchester Mining, Logging, and Construction 46,100 40,700 -5,400 -12% 305
- Rochester Construction 23,300 23,000 -300 -1% 153
- Syracuse Mining, Logging, and Construction 14,300 12,600 -1,700 -12% 305
- Utica-Rome, NY Mining, Logging, and Construction 3,700 3,000 -700 -19% 33
Only 30 percent of the nation’s metro areas added construction jobs in the past year, AGCA reported in its analysis of the government data in early December.
Association officials said construction employment in most parts of the country was being impacted by pandemic as businesses and local governments curtail planned construction projects.
“The pandemic has devastated the finances for businesses, institutions, and state and local governments, leading to widespread postponements and cancellations of construction projects,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “As contractors use up the funds from Paycheck Protection Program loans, even more job losses are inevitable unless the federal government provides an immediate economic boost.”
Construction employment fell in 209, or 58 percent, of 358 metro areas between October 2019 and October 2020. Construction employment was stagnant in 40 other metro areas, meanwhile, and only 109 metro areas—30 percent—added construction jobs during the past year.
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas lost the most construction jobs over those 12 months (-19,800 jobs, -8 percent), followed by New York City (-17,300 jobs, -11 percent); Montgomery-Bucks-Chester Counties, Pa. (-12,100 jobs, -21 percent); and Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn. (-10,400 jobs, -11 percent). Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Mass. had the largest percentage decline (-43 percent, -2,500 jobs), followed by Bloomsburg-Berwick, Pa. (-36 percent, -500 jobs); Altoona, Pa. (-32 percent, -1,000 jobs); Johnstown, Pa. (-30 percent, -800 jobs); and East Stroudsburg, Pa. (-30 percent, -600 jobs).
Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas added the most construction jobs over the year (7,100 jobs, 5 percent), followed by Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (4,700 jobs, 4 percent); Kansas City, Mo. (3,700 jobs, 12 percent); and Boise, Idaho (3,500 jobs, 13 percent). Walla Walla, Wash. had the highest percentage increase (25 percent, 300 jobs), followed by Lewiston, Idaho-Wash. (18 percent, 300 jobs); Oshkosh-Neenah, Wisc. (16 percent, 900 jobs); Fond du Lac, Wisc. (15 percent, 500 jobs); and Springfield, Mo. (15 percent, 1,400 jobs).
Association officials said the best way to curtail future construction job losses was for Congress to pass new federal coronavirus relief measures. These measures should include making new infrastructure investments, eliminating plans to tax Paycheck Protection Program loans and enacting liability reform to protect honest businesses from baseless coronavirus lawsuits.
“Construction employment is likely to continue falling in many parts of the country unless Congress quickly passes new coronavirus relief measures,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Boosting infrastructure projects, preserving the benefits of the Paycheck Protection Program and protecting businesses from predatory attorneys will help stabilize the economy and demand for construction.”