Pittsburgh metro saw increase in construction employment in January

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The Pittsburgh metro gained 5,000 construction jobs between January 2017 and January 2018, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported, citing the Associated General Contractors of America which analyzed federal employment data.

The 10 percent gain ranked Pittsburgh 46th among 358 metros nationwide for employment growth in the industry over the past year. Pittsburgh had 52,800 construction employees in January 2018, compared with 47,800 the year prior, according to the association, as reported by the Times.

In a statement, the AGC said that construction employment increased in 248 out of 358 metro areas between January 2017 and January 2018, declined in 68 and stagnated in 42. Association officials said that future construction job gains could be undermined, however, as new tariffs force contractors to pay more for steel and aluminum products and dampen demand for new construction.

“The new tariffs are already leading to increases in what many contractors are paying for steel and aluminum products,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Most contractors will be unable to pass along these increased costs, leaving less money to invest, ironically, in steel construction equipment as well as personnel.”

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