Trade group says Long Island construction employment continues to slide

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By Dan Sears

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Construction employment on Long Island decreased for the fifth straight month in October. 

Nassau and Suffolk counties lost 4,500 construction jobs from October 2022 to October 2023, a 5 percent year-over-year drop, falling from 85,200 to 80,700, according to a report from the Associated General Contractors of America. 

The decline in construction jobs on Long Island last month was the fourth largest decrease out of 358 metropolitan areas in the country. 

Regionally, the number of construction jobs in New York City was up 10 percent, gaining 14,600 jobs from October 2022 to October 2023, rising from 145,400 to 160,000, the largest jobs increase in the country. 

Construction employment in the Orange/Rockland/Westchester area dropped by 9 percent, losing 4,500 jobs from October 2022 to October 2023, falling from 47,900 to 43,400. 

Between October 2022 and October 2023, construction employment rose in 226 metro areas, declined in 54 areas and was unchanged in 78 areas, according to the AGCA report. 

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Association officials noted that tight labor market conditions kept construction employment from increasing in even more metro areas.  

“Construction employment keeps growing in a solid majority of metro areas but many more would be in the plus-column if contractors could find qualified workers,” Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said in an AGCA statement. “With construction unemployment hovering around 4 percent, it’s clear there aren’t enough jobseekers available to fill all the openings.” 

Besides New York City, metro areas adding the most construction jobs over the last year include the Dallas area, which gained 11,000 jobs for a 7 percent rise; the Baton Rouge, La. area, which added 9,400 jobs for a 20 percent gain; and the Portland, Ore. area, adding 8,300 for a 10 percent gain. 

The metro areas seeing the largest drops in construction employment from October 2022 to October 2023 include the Houston area, which lost 11,500 jobs for a 5 percent drop and the Denver area, losing 5,300 jobs for a 5 percent decrease.  

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