Construction jobs rising in region

GREELEY – Construction employment expanded in Greeley, Boulder and the Fort Collins-Loveland metro areas between June 2013 and June 2014, according to an analysis of federal employment data released this week by the Associated General Contractors of America.

The report covers jobs in construction, mining and logging.

The number of construction jobs in Greeley increased 17 percent, from 14,300 to 16,800, ranking eighth in the nation among 332 metro areas, according to the data.

Jobs in the Boulder area increased 4 percent, from 4,500 to 4,700, and jobs in the Fort Collins-Loveland area increased 3 percent, from 9,100 to 9,400.

Colorado experienced a 6 percent increase from 161,800 to 172,100 jobs.

Construction employment nationwide expanded in 215 metro areas, declined in 80 and was stagnant in 44.

Association officials noted that uncertainty about a range of federal infrastructure and construction programs could weigh on future growth for the sector.

“Contractors have been expanding their workforce in about two-thirds of the country for several months in a row,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Some metro areas are adding workers at a strong clip, but the gains remain modest and sporadic in many localities.”

Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas added the largest number of construction jobs in the past year, 11,700, a 10 percent increase, followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (10,000 jobs, 9 percent), Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill. (8,200 jobs, 7 percent) and Baton Rouge, La. (5,900 jobs, 13 percent).

The largest percentage gains occurred in Monroe, Mich., 29 percent on 600 jobs.

The largest job losses from June 2013 to June 2014 were in Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Md., a loss of 4,200 jobs, a 13 percent decline, followed by Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz. (-2,900 jobs, -3 percent), Gary, Ind. (-2,300 jobs, -12 percent) and Putnam-Rockland-Westchester, N.Y. (-1,800 jobs, -6 percent).

The largest percentage decline for the past year occurred in Cheyenne, Wyo., which had a decline of 18 percent, representing a loss of 700 jobs, from 4,000 to 3,300. The state has a whole had a 0.4 percent change increase, from 49,900 to 50,100. Casper increased 9 percent, from 3,200 to 3,500 jobs.

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