Construction employment expanded in 215 metro areas, declined in 74 and was stagnant in 50 between October 2012 and October 2013, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials added that despite the widespread jobs gains, construction employment remains below peak levels in 315 metro areas.

“October was a good month for construction employment in many parts of the country,” says Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “It will take many more months of strong jobs gains before construction employment returns to peak levels in many parts of the country, however.”

Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif., added the largest number of construction jobs in the past year (9,700 jobs, 13 percent); followed by Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. (8,500 jobs, 10 percent); Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. (7,500 jobs, 14 percent) and Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. (6,800 jobs, 11 percent). The largest percentage gains occurred in Pascagoula, Miss. (35 percent, 1,500 jobs); Eau Claire, Wis. (28 percent, 900 jobs); and Steubenville-Weirton, Ohio-W.Va. (24 percent, 400 jobs), according to the report.

The largest job losses from October 2012 to October 2013 were in Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, Calif. (-4,300 jobs, -11 percent); followed by Raleigh-Cary, N.C. (-3,500 jobs, -12 percent); Gary, Ind. (-3,300 jobs, -15 percent) and Cincinnati-Middletown, Ohio-Ky.-Ind. (-2,600 jobs, -7 percent). The largest percentage decline for the past year was in Modesto, Calif. (-22 percent, -1,500 jobs); Gary, Ind.; Rockford, Ill. (-15 percent, -700 jobs); Raleigh-Cary, N.C.; and Yuma, Ariz. (-12 percent, -300 jobs).

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