Real Estate News

Published on Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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A new analysis out of a Yardi division says that the best metro areas for construction jobs aren’t where you might think.

Given challenging construction labor markets, if you want to build something, you’re best off being in the right place at the right time. According to a recent analysis by Point2, a blog and news site owned by Yardi, that’s not the major markets you might expect.

“So, to determine the most dynamic metro areas for construction-related occupations, Point2 analysts ranked US metros based on eight factors that influence the industry and its job evolution: number of jobs, wage, building permit change, housing units, permits per housing units, construction establishments, location quotient and, last but not least, cost of living (see methodology for full details). As a reasonable benchmark for growing construction activity, this report considers metros with more than 1,000 permits issued between January and June 2022. The resulting 146 metropolitan areas paint a picture of the state of construction work across the United States.”

Some of the main findings include Kennewick, Washington and St. George, Utah as “the most thriving metros for construction jobs.”

Sorry, but, uh, where?

Right. No metros in New York, for example, even hit the top 20 on this list. Los Angeles? Philadelphia? Chicago? Decreasing issuance of building permits, decreasing construction job concentration, and higher cost of living knocked them off the list. Of the top 20, only one was in Florida, and it wasn’t Miami, but Cape Coral-Fort Myers. California’s got one. Same for Georgia, but not Atlanta; it’s Augusta-Richmond County, and they have to share space with South Carolina to partake.

“Our analysis revealed that having a construction job in larger metros could actually prove to be more disadvantageous than working in smaller metro areas with room for development: 18 of the top 20 metros where construction jobs are flourishing have populations of less than 1 million, most of them in the state of Utah,” said the report.

And, oddly enough, there’s a greater per capita concentration of construction people in areas that are more amenable to them.

St. George and Greeley, Colorado have the largest shares of construction occupations, with 95 and 90 out of 1,000, respectively. Now, will a big area like a Chicago have a greater number of construction workers? Probably, but this is a case where per capita numbers show their importance. The more per thousand workers, the greater a chance that your project will be able to scoop one up.

“They are followed by two Washington metros (Kennewick; Bremerton) and three Florida metros (Cape Coral; The Villages; Naples). Plus, as job concentration goes hand in hand with the location quotient (LQ), these areas also have the best LQs, a metric that indicates that the construction sector is best represented here because it makes up a larger share of employment than it does for the United States as a whole.”