Trade group reports LI construction employment continues to decline

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By Dan Sears

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Construction employment on Long Island saw a year-over-year decrease for the seventh straight month in December, according to a new report from the Associated General Contractors of America. 

Nassau and Suffolk counties lost 4,500 construction jobs from Dec. 2022 to Dec. 2023, a 5 percent year-over-year drop, falling from 82,800 to 78,300, the AGCA reports.  

The decline in construction jobs on Long Island in December was the third largest decrease out of 358 metropolitan areas in the country. 

Regionally, the number of construction jobs in New York City was up 5 percent, gaining 7,500 jobs from Dec. 2022 to Dec. 2023, rising from 146,200 to 153,700. 

Construction employment in the Orange/Rockland/Westchester area dropped by 10 percent, losing 4,500 jobs from Dec. 2022 to Dec. 2023, falling from 46,300 to 41,800, the second largest job decline in the country, the AGCA said. 

Between Dec. 2022 and Dec. 2023, construction employment rose in 224 metro areas, declined in 80 areas and was unchanged in 54 areas, according to the AGCA report. 

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Association officials noted that the industry still has nearly 400,000 unfilled positions nationwide, and likely would have added even more jobs if firms could find more qualified workers to hire.  

“Even more metro areas would have added workers if they were available,” Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said in an AGCA statement. “But there were 374,000 job openings in construction at the end of December according to a separate government report, illustrating the difficulty contractors face in filling positions.” 

Metro areas adding the most construction jobs over the last year include the Dallas area, which gained 12,300 jobs for an 8 percent rise; the Phoenix area, adding 10,400 jobs for a 7 percent gain; and the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. area, which added 10,000 jobs for a 9 percent gain. 

Besides the Orange/Rockland/Westchester and Long Island areas, the metro areas seeing the largest drops in construction employment from Dec. 2022 to Dec. 2023 include the Houston area, which lost 5,900 jobs for a 3 percent drop and the Denver area, losing 3,500 jobs for a 3 percent decrease. 

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