During a 12-month period that concluded on Nov. 30, the Phoenix area saw 17,500 new construction jobs added, signifying the second-biggest gain in jobs nationwide.
The period ended with 135,300 construction jobs in Phoenix, compared with 117,800 in November 2017, according to a study done by the Associated General Contractors of America. Construction employment increased in 74 percent of metro areas across the country in that time period.
By adding a total of 24,000 jobs in construction in the 12-month span, Houston was atop the list.
Phoenix’s 15-percent increase was the eighth-biggest percentage increase nationwide for the period. The Weirton-Steubenville, Ohio area had the biggest percentage increase, with 26 percent, but the jump only equated to a gain of 500 jobs.
“Construction employment growth remains widespread, but as unemployment hits historic lows in many metros, contractors are having ever-increasing difficulty filling positions,” Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said in a statement of cities nationwide. “As a result, construction employment may level off in more areas, even while the demand for projects — and workers — continues to be strong.”
A frequent major concern for Phoenix-area developers and construction companies has been a lack of skilled construction laborers.
“An ongoing shortage of construction labor has been the most significant challenge to the local industry in the past year as it creates uncertainty both for project timing and overall costs,” Suzanne Kinney, president and CEO of industry group NAIOP’s Arizona chapter said while summarizing the year for the commercial real estate industry.