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Dallas leads the country in construction job gains

Dallas Morning News logo Dallas Morning News 12/2/2020 Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News
a man standing in front of a fence: The Dallas area has added more than 7,000 building sector jobs since last October. © Lynda M. Gonzalez/Staff Photographer/The Dallas Morning News/TNS The Dallas area has added more than 7,000 building sector jobs since last October.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed or postponed some building projects, the Dallas area leads the country in construction jobs gained in the last year.

Only 30% of the metro areas have seen an increase in construction employment during the last 12 months due to the impact of the pandemic, according to new government data that the Associated General Contractors of America released.

The Dallas area has added 7,100 jobs since October 2019 — more than any other U.S. metro area.

At the same time, Houston saw the worst construction sector employment declines in the county with a 19,800-job drop.

Construction jobs around the country are still facing downward pressure as businesses and governments curtail planned building projects, according to the construction industry trade group.

“The pandemic has devastated the finances for businesses, institutions, and state and local governments, leading to widespread postponements and cancellations of construction projects,” Ken Simonson, Associated General Contractors of America’s chief economist, said in the report. “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.”

While D-FW commercial construction starts have fallen 11% so far this year compared with the first 10 months of 2019, residential building activity has boomed with a 10% jump in starts. Homebuilding starts in North Texas rose by more than a third in the most recent quarter.

The Dallas area has also seen huge increases in industrial building construction this year.

Along with D-FW’s annual job gain, the largest Ud.S. construction employment increases were in the Seattle area (4,700 jobs) and Kansas City, Mo. (3,700 jobs).

Houston’s construction sector job losses topped even New York City, which saw a 17,300-job drop in the sector.

The Fort Worth area has lost about 5,300 building industry jobs, and San Antonio has added 1,100 positions.

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©2020 The Dallas Morning News

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