Electronic job

Houston and D-FW lead major cities nationwide in job creation

Texas has added the most construction jobs in the country over the past year.

And Houston — with 9,300 new construction jobs — and Dallas-Fort Worth, which added 8,300 construction jobs, were the top U.S. metropolitan areas in terms of gains, according to the latest report from the Associated General Contractors of America.

Three of the country’s four metropolitan areas increased construction employment between March 2022 and March 2021.

“It is encouraging to see construction employment coming back from the depths of pandemic-induced job losses in most regions,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist of the contractors association. “But the growing number of job vacancies shows that the industry needs many more workers than there are in many parts of the country.”

Besides Houston and D-FW, other top markets for construction job growth include St. Louis with 6,300 new jobs and Los Angeles, which added 6,000.

Construction jobs are still lagging in some markets. In New York, there were 3,400 construction jobs compared to 2021, and Orlando lost 2,400 construction jobs.

Dallas-Fort Worth housing starts are up more than a third so far in 2022, according to reports from Dodge Data & Analytics.

D-FW was second to New York for total construction in 2021.

Over $28 billion in residential and commercial housing starts were recorded in the D-FW region last year.

Despite recent industry gains, construction companies say they are struggling to attract the workers they need.

Nationally, there were 364,000 construction vacancies in March, a 52% increase from a year earlier.

A shortage of workers plagued construction industries before the pandemic.

The construction sector has launched initiatives to promote career paths in the industry.

“A lot of people would love to make a living working with their hands and technology to build amazing projects,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive of the contractors association. “But too few schools are willing to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy that the only path to success is college.”

The Texas Squeeze: A series examining the high cost of high growth in North Texas.