Charleston metro gains construction jobs; Greenville, Columbia slip

Staff Report
Published Dec. 2, 2013

Construction employment expanded in the Charleston metro area and fell in both Greenville and Columbia in October, compared with the same month a year ago, the Associated General Contractors of America reported.

The Charleston metro area, which includes North Charleston and Summerville, added 500 construction jobs over the 12-month period, according to the trade group’s analysis of U.S. Labor Department data. The total for October increased 4% to 14,300 jobs, compared with 13,800 for the same month in 2012.

Meanwhile, the Columbia metro area lost 100 jobs, the association said. Construction jobs in the Midlands totaled 14,400 in October, down 1% from the same month in 2012.

In Greenville, year-over-year construction employment fell by 500 jobs, or 4%, to 11,100 in October, the association said.

Statewide, October’s construction employment rose by 4,900 jobs, or 6.2%, to 83,500, compared with the same month in 2012, the group added.

“October was a good month for construction employment in many parts of the country,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “It will take many more months of strong jobs gains before construction employment returns to peak levels in many parts of the country, however.”

The association said Congress and the Obama administration could help boost construction employment by quickly completing water resources development legislation that has already passed both houses and by passing a new surface transportation bill next year that would fund repairs to aging roads, bridges and transit systems.

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