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Construction employment down 14 percent in Tacoma, Seattle

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Oct. 27, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
October 27, 2009 2:52 pm

Construction jobs fell by nearly 17,000 between September last year and September this year in the Seattle-Tacoma area according to a new study released today by Associated General Contractors of America.

That’s a 14 percent reduction in filled construction positions in Western Washington’s two largest cities. According to the survey, Tacoma lost 3,300 construction jobs and Seattle-Bellevue-Everett’s construction force dropped by 13,600 during the last year.

That percentage job loss ranked the two cities 215th on the list of 337 U.S. metropolitan areas. Only 12 metro areas in the country reported construction job gains in that period.

Columbus, Ind., with a job growth of 15 percent, ranked first on the list. At the bottom ranking 337th (many communities were tied) was Reno-Sparks, Nev. with a construction workforce reduction of 35 percent. In Washington, Wenatchee had the highest percentage construction job loss, 28 percent. The eastern Washington community saw its employed construction workforce fall by 900 to 2,300. Wenatchee was 333rd on the AGC list.

The association asked the Obama administration and Congress to act on several measures to help stimulate more construction jobs. Among those measures were an extension of the $8,000 first-time homebuyers tax credit and a provision that will allow builders to use losses in 2009 and 2010 to offset taxes.

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