It may not lead the nation, or even the state, but the Tampa Bay region added 3,300 construction jobs in January compared to the year before, fueling a 6 percent increase in the industry.
That’s part of a new report from Associated General Contractors of America, which warned that while growth is always good, the region and the country still has room to rebound.
“It is a sign of the continued strengthening of the construction industry that nearly 60 percent of metros added construction jobs from a year earlier despite the severe winter conditions in much of the country this January,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, in a release. “Nevertheless, the industry’s recovery has a long way to go with only a smattering of metro areas exceeding their previous peak January level of employment.
The largest construction growth came from the greater Los Angeles area, which added 8,100 jobs, followed by the Houston region in Texas with 7,900 jobs.
Florida added 36,900 construction jobs, creating 11 percent growth year-over-year. That was led by the Fort Lauderdale area with 4,400 jobs — ranked 16th in the nation — and Orlando with 4,200 jobs, ranked 41st in the nation. Tampa Bay was ranked 89th.
Only two regions of Florida showed no growth. Gainesville lost 400 jobs, or 9 percent of its workforce, while the Panama City area was flat.
Tampa Bay still has the most construction workers in the state with 56,700, followed by Orlando with 51,000 and Fort Lauderdale with 35,600.
There could be some problems coming this summer when it’s anticipated that some federally funded transportation projects will dry up, the association said. Congress and the Obama administration will need to find ways to fund that shortfall in order to prevent the loss of construction jobs in the coming months, said Stephen Sandherr, the association’s chief executive.
The complete state-by-state ranking can be found by clicking here.