The number of construction jobs in San Diego hit 80,300 in May, 7 percent more than a year ago, according to the latest analysis from the Associated General Contractors of America of federal jobs data.
The region added 5,000 construction jobs over that 12-month stretch, putting it 83rd on the AGC’s list of 358 metro areas ranked by the percent change in the number of jobs.
San Diego was among 243 metro areas to report adding construction jobs in the 12 months starting in May 2016. The number of construction jobs year over year declined in 59 areas and stagnated in 54, according to the AGC.
However, many construction firms, including many in San Diego, are having a tough time finding enough skilled workers to hire, association officials said.
"Construction employment gains in many parts of the country likely would have been even more robust if it were easier for most firms to find qualified workers," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "As a result of tight labor market conditions, many firms are opting to invest more in training, find ways to become more efficient or use new techniques like off-site prefabrication or robotics to reduce labor needs."
The nearby Riverside and San Bernardino region added the highest number of construction jobs, tacking on 16,500 to reach 108,2000 in May. That’s up 18 percent from a year ago.
On the other end of the spectrum, Texas’ Houston area lost 5,300 construction jobs over the same time period. However, the area had 221,200 to start with, so the decrease represented only a 2 percent reduction, according to the AGC’s analysis.