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Columbia 1 of 86 metro areas to add construction jobs in year

Staff Report //November 6, 2020//

Columbia 1 of 86 metro areas to add construction jobs in year

Staff Report //November 6, 2020//

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Columbia was one of three S.C. metro areas and 86 nationwide to add jobs in the mining, logging and construction industries from September 2019 to 2020, gaining 100 jobs in that 12-month period.

A recent analysis from the Associated General Contractors of America found that statewide, 1,600 industry jobs were added in that period, representing 2% growth from 112,000 jobs in September 2019 to 113,600 jobs in September 2020.

Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach (200) and Spartanburg (100) also added jobs.

Nationwide, construction employment fell in 234, or 65%, of 358 metro areas, the AGC found, and was stagnant in 38 others. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas, lost a nation-leading 24,400 jobs, while in the same state, the Dallas-Plano-Irving metro area added a nation-leading 5,100 jobs.  

The analysis found that construction firms are experiencing widespread project deferrals and cancellations as affects from the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt. Three-quarters of survey respondents reported having a scheduled project postponed or canceled, up from 60% in the organization’s August survey and from 32% in June.

Just 23% of contractors reported working on new or expanded construction projects, while 78% of respondents said they are currently experiencing delays or project disruptions, up from 57% in June. Disruptions caused by a shortage of craftworkers and/or subcontractors were reported by 35%, though only 7% of firms reported disruptions because of a shortage of personal protective equipment.

“The survey results make it clear that the months-long pandemic is undermining demand for projects, disrupting vital supply chains and clouding the industry’s outlook,” Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said in a news release. “Without new federal relief measures, these challenges pose a significant threat to current construction employment levels.”