Dallas-Fort Worth construction employment is still down by almost 11,000 jobs from before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Dallas-area building sector employment in February was down 5,900 jobs, and there were 4,800 fewer construction jobs in the Fort Worth area compared with February 2020, according to the latest industry update from the Associated General Contractors of America.
Nationwide, construction employment is lagging year-ago levels in 236 metro areas.
“Relatively few places have recovered from the pandemic-induced impacts on the construction industry,” Ken Simonson, the contractors association’s chief economist, said in the report. “Project cancellations, spiking materials prices and significant supply chain challenges are making it hard for most firms to add new construction jobs compared to a year ago.”
Texas cities have had some of the worst declines in building sector jobs during the pandemic.
The Houston area had the largest construction employment loss in the country in February, with 37,600 fewer jobs than a year earlier.
Midland, Odessa, Longview and Laredo also were cited by economists for their significant building employment decreases since the start of the pandemic.
Austin’s construction employment has recovered with a 1,500-job gain.
While residential building activity in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is surging, starts of commercial properties including offices, shopping centers and hotels have plunged in the past year.
The D-FW area had lost 142,900 jobs in the year ended in February. Among Texas metros, only Houston, with a 233,000-job decline, reported a worse annual employment drop in the construction sector, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.