By Ricardo Lopez
10:38 AM PDT, May 1, 2013
Driven by demand in multi-unit housing, construction employment rose in 152 metro areas since March 2012, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics by the Associated General Contractors Assn.
But the employment gains have been uneven.
The housing recovery -- and ensuing new home construction -- has been regional. The association said construction employment declined over the year in 126 areas and remained stagnant in 61.
"Today’s figures on employment by metro area and construction spending nationally in March highlight the uneven and fragile recovery that construction is experiencing,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “The totals are up on a year-over-year basis, and should continue to improve during the remainder of 2013, but not every sector or region will do well.”
In California, several metro areas saw strong gains in construction, including Merced -- which gained 300 jobs, a 19% increase since March 2012.
Salinas added 700 jobs, an 18% gain. The Los Angeles metropolitan area, which includes Long Beach and Glendale, added 1,700 jobs, a 7% gain.
Citing Census Bureau data, Simonson also noted that construction spending in March was 4.8% higher than the year before, but slightly down from a month earlier. Only private residential construction spending grew during both time periods.
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