During the past year, Columbia’s construction market lost 2,200 jobs, according to the latest report from the Associated General Contractors of America.
The numbers were based on analysis of federal employment data and showed an 11% drop from March 2017 to March 2018.
According to the data, construction employment increased in 245 of the 358 metro areas surveyed nationwide. Houston added the most construction jobs, with 10,700. Baton Rouge suffered the largest job loss at 3,200.
“While firms in many parts of the country continue to expand, there is a growing number of threats that could undermine future employment growth in the sector,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's CEO, said in a news release. “Among the top threats to future construction growth are the risk of a trade war and long-term infrastructure funding challenges.”
Association officials said that many construction firms have already experienced significant increases in what they pay for steel products. Long-term funding shortfalls for infrastructure improvements could undermine demand for many firms’ services, the officials said.
“Washington officials can help ensure future economic growth by avoiding a trade war and enacting long-term infrastructure funding,” Sandherr said.