Construction employment still dropping

Medford remains a tough place to find construction employment, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.

The Medford metropolitan statistical area, which takes in all of Jackson County, is among 13 areas tied for 285th nationally in AGC's latest findings. Construction employment dipped 7 percent between May 2010 and May 2011 to 2,600.

Local construction employment lagged behind four of Oregon's five other MSAs. Bend, which saw a 15 percent decline in construction employment from May to May ranks 324th nationally. Corvallis, which picked up 100 construction jobs during the period, was No. 20.

AGC said construction employment increased in 120 out of 337 metropolitan areas between May 2010 and May 2011, declined in 162, and stayed level in 55.

"While construction employment has stopped plunging, any sign of a recovery remains spotty at best," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist, said of the latest data. "The close to even split between areas adding and losing jobs is a reminder that for every market doing well, there is another market that is still hurting."

Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas, added more construction jobs (5,600 jobs, 5 percent) than any other metro area during the past year while Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury, on the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border, added the highest percentage (22 percent, 800 jobs).

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