ARIZONA NEWS

Metro Phoenix leads nation by large margin in construction jobs added

May 3, 2019, 4:23 AM | Updated: 8:41 pm
(Pixabay Photo)...
(Pixabay Photo)
(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – Despite a shortage of workers in the field, construction is booming in the Valley unlike anywhere else.

The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale region added more construction jobs over the last year than any other metro area in the country, according to a report released Wednesday by an industry advocacy association.

“That’s a great thing in terms of the scope of economic development, the scope of infrastructure investments taking place in the Valley,” Brian Turmail, Associated General Contractors of America national spokesman, told KTAR News 92.3 FM after announcing the figures at Haydon Building Corp in Phoenix.

“But it’s happening at a time when most constructions firms – 78% according to our data – tell us they’re having a hard time finding qualified construction workers to hire.”

The Valley added 13,800 construction jobs between March 2018 and March 2019, an increase of 11%.

That total far outpaced the next market, metro Atlanta, which added 7,600 positions.

“In fact, I think what most contractors would tell you is they would have added even more jobs here in Phoenix and many other parts of the country if they could simply find the folks to fill the positions,” Turmail said.

He said he’d like to see federal, state and local governments do more to entice young people into the construction industry.

“We need to see more investment in what’s called career and technical education – what most of us grew up knowing as vocational education,” he said.

“That provides a base set of skills for young adults that will help them be attractive candidates in construction, but, more important, it sends a clear signal to high school students that construction ought to at least be on that menu of career opportunities to consider.”

The Valley had 171,200 construction workers in March, according to Phoenix’s Community and Economic Development Department.

While that’s more than double the total from 2010, in the aftermath of the Great Recession, it still trails the peak of 177,300 in 2007.

The region’s economy has reduced its dependence on construction since then, which is a good thing, according to Eric Jay Toll, communications manager for the department.

“Jobs in manufacturing, technology, financial services … and health care are more stable, pay better and are recession resistant,” Toll told KTAR News.

Those four fields made up 45% of the area’s jobs in 2007; that was up to 61% this March.

Over that time, construction’s share fell from 8.6% to 5.9%.

“Construction is no longer a major indicator of the Valley workforce,” Toll said.

“It has plenty of good-paying jobs, but it now serves the economy, it doesn’t lead the economy.”

Led by the Phoenix-area growth, Arizona ranked fourth nationally with 16,800 construction jobs added over the last year, trailing only Texas, California and Florida, according to a report released last month by the contractors association.

Arizona’s 10.8% increase ranked fifth.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Fall Out Boy performs at Xcel Energy Center on Dec. 4, 2017, in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam ...
Kevin Stone

Fall Out Boy returning to Phoenix this summer for 1st time in 6 years

Fall Out Boy is returning to Phoenix for the first time in six years this summer when the pop punkers hit the road to support a new album.
10 hours ago
(NPS Photo/Neal Herbert)...
KTAR.com

Grand Canyon National Park opens self-guided river trip lottery

Grand Canyon National Park has begun accepting applications for 2024 self-guided river raft trip permits on the Colorado River.
10 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Donald Babiano)...
Griselda Zetino

Empty seats: COVID pandemic not the only reason for spike in chronic absenteeism in Arizona

The number of Arizona students missing school has skyrocketed over the last few years. The COVID pandemic isn’t the only reason.
10 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Over Easy Restaurant)...
KTAR.com

Breakfast restaurant Over Easy plans to open 3 Valley locations this year

Breakfast and brunch restaurant Over Easy announced plans to open three new locations across the Valley this year.
10 hours ago
(Surveillance footage video provided by the Glendale Police Department)...
SuElen Rivera

Glendale police seek public’s help identifying suspect in Circle K robbery

Glendale police are asking the public's help in identifying a suspect involved in a robbery in December, authorities said.
10 hours ago
Clint Hickman (Maricopa County Photo via Cronkite News)...
Kevin Stone

Maricopa County’s Clint Hickman on election threats: ‘It has to stop’

Clint Hickman, chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, said he's sick and tired of threats aimed at elections workers who are just doing their jobs.
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
Metro Phoenix leads nation by large margin in construction jobs added