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Pace of Construction Job Losses Slows in Chicago

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Construction job losses in Chicago slowed in August after recording the highest spikes of any metro market in the nation in June and July, according to year-over year data compiled by the Arlington, Va.-based Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

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The last full month of summer proved the charm for Chicago, which lost 3,300 jobs in August, as compared to 5,000 jobs in June and July.

In year over year comparisons, St. Louis (-5,100 jobs, -4%), Detroit (-3,000 jobs, -14%), and Milwaukee (-2,100 jobs, -8%) also logged losses in August, while Indianapolis (+3,300 jobs, +8%) continued showing signs of improvement. Cleveland lost only 200 jobs, or about 1% of its construction workforce.

The results were consistent with reports that Indiana and Ohio continue to benefit from Detroit's resurgent automobile sector while other states, including Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin, remain mired in sluggish economies.

In all, construction employment declined in 164 of the 337 metro regions monitored by AGC, with percentage losses steepest in Springfield, Mass.-Conn. (-31%, -3,700 jobs), followed by Anchorage, Alaska (-21%, -2,200 jobs); Jackson, Miss. (-21%, -2,300 jobs) and Lansing-East Lansing, Mich. (-18%, -1,200 jobs).

Total job losses were greatest in in Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. (-7,200 jobs, -8%), followed by Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. (-6,700 jobs, -12%); New York City  (-6,200 jobs, -5%) and Philadelphia (-4,300 jobs, -6%).

“The looming fiscal cliff is contributing to construction employment declines in many parts of the country,” says AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. “We are just not seeing the kind of private sector momentum that the industry experienced earlier this year.”

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