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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

December 6, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Seattle close to top in adding construction jobs

The building boom here has caused Seattle to be No. 2 in the nation (behind Houston) in adding construction jobs, according to a new survey by the Associated General Contractors of America. Construction employment increased in Seattle-Bellevue-Everett by 6,500 between October 2011 and October 2012, a 10 percent gain.

Approximately 72,700 people are working in construction in the Seattle metro area, compared with 66,200 a year ago. The region lost nearly 30,000 jobs in the sector since October 2007. According to Butch Brooks, incoming president of the Associated General Contractors of Washington and owner of Brooks Construction Management, 25 percent of the 211,300 construction jobs that existed in Washington in June 2007 have disappeared.

The trade group is worried about the budget standoff’s effect on federal projects, particularly military base construction. “Allowing the fiscal cliff to occur will only make our nation’s fiscal problems worse,” Brooks said. “Construction workers can ill afford the kind of recession that the fiscal cliff would cause.”

Elsewhere in the Northwest: Tacoma added 1,500 jobs and Bellingham, 400. Spokane lost 400 jobs, Boise lost 100 and metro Portland was down 184. You can download the report here.

[UPDATE] Seattle, Spokane and Yakima are listed on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index for December because of a marked increase in house prices, new building activity and employment. You can download this report here.

And Don’t Miss: A dream chief for the Securities and Exchange Commission || Salon

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Legal pot market

It might get panned by the feds

And the munchies, too?

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