State construction employment improves slightly

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Construction employment increased in two South Carolina metropolitan areas between October 2011 and October 2012, declined in two, and was stagnant in one metro area according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America.

“These figures show how spotty the construction recovery has been—even within a single state,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “If  taxes hump and federal construction spending is slashed next month, even more metros will have construction job losses.”

The largest job increase was in the area of the state around Charlotte-Gstonia-Rock Hill. This area added 600 construction jobs. The Charleston metro added 500 jobs (3 percent).  The Augusta-Richmond County metro area lost 500 construction jobs between October 2011 and October 2012.  Greenville-Mauldin-Easley also reported job losses (2 percent, -200 jobs). Construction employment was stagnant in Columbia. Statewide South  Carolina added 200 construction jobs between October 2011 and October 2012.

Association officials cautioned that even more metro areas could experience construction job losses if Congress and the administration allow the spending cuts and tax hikes that make up the fiscal cliff to occur.

“Allowing the fiscal cliff to occur will only make our nation’s fiscal problems worse,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Construction workers can ill afford the kind of recession that the fiscal cliff would cause.” View construction employment figures by state and rank.