Arizona Posts Second-Biggest Drop In Construction Jobs In June

July 22, 2014

While three-quarters of the nation got a boost in year-over-year construction jobs last month, Arizona wrestled with a 4,500 job loss.

That was the second-biggest construction job loss in the nation, accounting for a 3.6 percent decline from last year, according to the latest federal data tracked by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Construction has long been one of Arizona's largest industries, but it took a serious beating during the downturn when the building of homes and commercial spaces such as shopping centers and office developments came to an abrupt stop.

The industry went from a peak of 244,300 in June 2006 to a low of 109,400 in September 2010 — a 123 percent plunge, by far the largest drop of any major industry that is tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Construction in Arizona has been on the mend for more than three years, but it's been a "two steps forward, one step back" kind of recovery.

The industry started out this year with positive momentum, but began stalling in March. By June, Arizona's construction sector was roughly 6,500 jobs smaller than it was at the beginning of the year.

At 119,000 total workers statewide, the sector has recovered only 7 percent of the jobs it lost during the recession.