The total U. S. construction employment for August 2011 through August 2012 fell in 164 out of 337 metropolitan areas, according to a report from the Associated General Contractors of America. The report also notes an increase in employment for 130 metropolitan areas while 43 regions displayed no change.

“The looming fiscal cliff is already contributing to construction employment declines in many parts of the country,” says Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s CEO. “We are just not seeing the kind of private sector momentum that the industry experienced earlier this year.”

The most significant decrease of construction employment in August occurred in Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. (-7,200 jobs, -8 percent), followed by Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. (-6,700 jobs, -12 percent), New York (-6,200 jobs, -5 percent) and Philadelphia (-4,300 jobs, -6 percent), according to the data report. The highest percentage of declined employment transpired in Springfield, Mass.-Conn. (-31 percent, -3,700 jobs).

The highest percentage of new construction jobs in the U.S. included, Yuba City, Calif. (24 percent, 400 jobs), Pascagoula, Miss. (21 percent, 1,000 jobs), Bakersfield-Delano, Calif. (17 percent, 2,500 jobs) and El Centro, Calif. (15 percent, 200 jobs).

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. added the most new industry jobs (8,600 jobs, 8 percent), the report states.

Association officials say construction employment will continue to decline until Congress and the administration set tax and spending rates for next year and beyond. They said reports from firms across the country indicate that the threat of significant tax hikes and mandatory cuts to a number of key federal construction and infrastructure programs are prompting many owners to delay projects.


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