Construction employment fell in three of five South Carolina metropolitan areas between August 2012 and August 2013, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said that despite some gains, construction employment remains below peak levels in most metro areas.
Construction employment increased in South Carolina five percent (4,200 jobs) between August 2012 and August 2013.
The three SC metro areas that lost construction jobs in the year-to-year period were Augusta-Richmond County GA-SC (-4 percent, -500 jobs), Greenville-Mauldin-Easley (-4 percent, -500 jobs) and Columbia (-1 percent, -200 jobs).
The NC-SC metro areas with construction employment increases Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill (6 percent, 2,300 jobs) and Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville (4 percent, 500 jobs).
”It has been a tough decade for much of the construction industry, considering that many areas experienced peak employment levels in the middle of the last decade,” said Stephen Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “More troubling, it will take a lot more growth before significantly more metro areas get back to peak employment levels in construction.”
Association officials said construction employment in some areas was getting a boost from growing private sector demand for new residential and energy facilities. They added, however, that declining investments in infrastructure and other public projects was restraining growth, and in some areas, contributing to declining sector employment. “Instead of feast or famine, conditions right now are more akin to moderate snacking or famine depending on the type of work firms perform,” said Sandherr.