Panelists tell three stories about a puzzle that made headlines — only one of which is true.
Demand for construction work comes back to the region
Construction is coming back to the Southwest, and with it, competition for construction workers.
Arizona's construction jobs fell by half during the recession, but now the state is projected to add more than 7,000 new construction jobs this year, according to an analysis by Arizona State University's WP Carey School of Business.
Nearby states of Utah, Texas and California also rank in the top 10 states for construction growth nationwide.
Lee McPheters at the WP Carey School of Business said that will put a strain on efforts by Arizona projects to recruit out of state workers.
"Competition is going to be heating up for construction workers here in the western part of the United States where the housing boom had its effect when it collapsed and now things are starting to come back," McPheters said.
Already in Phoenix, as demand for construction labor grows, the average hourly wage for construction workers went up last year 4 percent. Construction workers are also spending more hours on the job on average.