by DCN News Services

ARLINGTON, VA.—Construction employment rose between April 2015 and April 2016 in two-thirds of the metropolitan areas in the U.S., a report issued June 1 by the Associated General Contractors of America indicates.

Spending on most types of structures increased for the year despite a drop in the latest month, according to the association’s analysis of federal data on employment and construction spending. Association officials said that many parts of the country continue to benefit from strong demand for construction services.

“Construction growth remains widely distributed by location and project type,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, in a media statement. “However, job gains were uneven: many states included metros with large gains but also areas that lost jobs. Some of those metros might have added construction jobs if contractors had been able to find enough qualified workers. The dearth of skilled construction workers in many areas threatens to hold down the extent of job gains in the coming months.”

There were construction employment gains in the past year in 235 out of 358 metro areas, losses in 67 areas, and no change in 56.

Construction spending increased 4.5 per cent from April 2015 to April 2016 despite a drop of 1.8 per cent from March to April, Simonson noted. Private residential spending increased 8.0 per cent over the year; private nonresidential spending climbed 3.4 per cent; and public construction spending rose 1.2 per cent.