Construction employment grew in 76.2% metro areas analyzed by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) in 2018, according to a recent report. Association officials said the job gains in 273 metro areas came amid strong demand throughout 2018 for construction projects. However, tight labor market conditions likely prevented additional job gains during 2018.

"Construction employment continued to expand in most parts of the country in 2018 as demand for many types of constructions projects grew," says AGC chief economist Ken Simonson. "As welcome as the job gains were, many firms would likely have added even more workers if labor markets were not so tight."

The Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, and Orlando, Fla., metro areas added the most construction jobs in pure numbers during 2018, while Weirton-Steubenville, W.V.-Ohio, Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn., Bridgeport-Stanford-Norwalk, Conn., and Lewiston, Idaho-Wash., experienced the largest percentage gains in employment during 2018.

The greatest employment declines in pure numbers during the past calendar year occurred in Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif., and San Diego, while the largest percentage declines in employment occurred in Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem, Mass.-N.H., and Abilene, Texas.

Association officials say the workforce shortages in the construction sector are limiting the full benefits of robust demand for construction workers in many parts of the U.S.