The number of employed construction workers increased between December 2012 and December 2013 in 192 out of 339 U.S. metro areas surveyed by the Associated General Contractors of America.
According to the group’s most recent analysis of federal employment data, the Southern California cities of Santa Ana, Anaheim and Irvine added the most jobs in the past year (11,200).
Overall however, only 20 areas nationwide improved on previous construction employment highs for the month.
Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said he expects to see stronger growth in 2014.
“Growing demand for apartment and single-family construction was behind a lot of the growth in most metro areas last year,” Simonson said, noting that private residential construction spending spiked by 18 percent from December 2012 to December 2013, while public sector spending slipped by 1 percent. “Employment in December 2013 was held down in many areas by unusually snowy or cold weather. With the weather and the economy both likely to improve soon, even more metros should post employment gains in the coming months.”