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Posted by nahetsblog on December 7, 2011

Construction Jobs Turn Around in Southwest

A recent study showed employment rates increasing slightly throughout the nation, but there may be more hope for the industry in Texas than other states.

The Associated General Contractors of America surveyed 337 metropolitan areas from September 2010 to September 2011. The number of construction jobs remained constant in about half of those places, according to the data, while the other half gained jobs instead.

The federal government is months late in passing a number of infrastructure bills – bills that set funding levels for investing in new water systems, in airport construction – and that’s really making it difficult for state and local officials to finance and then to plan the kind of construction projects that relieve traffic in Austin or elsewhere.

Texas’ construction industry had a three percent increase in jobs statewide. The Houston/Sugar Land/Baytown area added a combined 4,500 construction jobs in the past year – more than any other metro area in the country.Austin also gained, adding 2,000 jobs.

“The industry took a downturn for a couple of years in general, along with a downturn in the economy, but we’ve recently – this year specifically – seen a slow improvement that we hope continues into next year,” said Brian Rust of the contracting company Rust & Sons Construction, which has offices in Dallas and Austin.

The Texas Department of Transportation expects to complete a $26 million construction project this month. Four ramps will connect east and westbound Ben White Freeway to southbound Interstate 35.

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