Help Not Wanted

Construction jobs disappearing in our area

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Chances are the "help wanted" signs are not hanging outside businesses involved with construction in the Washington area.

A new survey by the Associated General Contractors of America found only 10 out of 337 metropolitan areas across the country added construction jobs from February 2009 to February 2010, the Washington Business Journal reported.

D.C. lost 3,400 jobs, a 27 percent drop; Maryland lost 25,800 jobs, a 17 percent drop; and Virginia lost 22,000 jobs, a drop of 11 percent.

In the Bethesda, Rockville and Frederick areas, construction jobs are off 9 percent, and in the northern Virginia area, construction jobs have dropped 12 percent.

"In virtually every area, construction workers continued to suffer the brunt of the recession," said Ken Simonson, the chief economist for the association.

Simonson predicted single-family home building and the federal stimulus should help boost construction employment in some metro areas this spring, but high vacancy rates and shrinking state and local budgets will keep construction employment from rising in most areas.

Nationally, Houston, Texas, lost the largest number of jobs, while Eau Claire, Wis., added the most.

To read the entire survey, click here.

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