Construction employment declined in 127 metro areas from June 2014 to June 2015. Santa Fe and Las Cruces had two of the biggest drops out of the 358 metros ranked by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Albuquerque gained some construction jobs during the time period — moving from 20,300 to 21,600, a gain of 1,300 jobs, or a 6 percent increase. The increase was enough to rank the Duke City at No. 71 out of the 358 metros.
Santa Fe and Las Cruces didn’t fare as well. Las Cruces lost 500 construction jobs during the one-year time period, from 3,500 to 3,000, a 14 percent drop and a ranking of No. 356. Santa Fe was dead last of all the metros in the report, losing 600 construction jobs, from 2,700 to 2,100, a 22 percent drop and a ranking of No. 358.
The Associated General Contractors of America ranking comes from an analysis of federal employment data.
Association officials said that the declines come as the U.S. Congress struggles to enact legislation to extend federal transportation investments beyond a July 31 expiration of the current program.
“It is hard for construction firms to invest in new employees if they don’t know what business conditions will be like for the rest of the year,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Many transportation construction firms will be reluctant to expand their headcount until Washington puts in places a long-term highway and transit funding measure.”
By: Damon Scott (Albuquerque Business First)
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