By CARLOS RICO, San Diego Daily Transcript, April 4, 2012
The San Diego Daily Transcript interviewed California Construction Academy Director Daniel Villao on recent construction industry trends. Read the full article below or read the article online (requires sign-in).
San Diego’s construction employment showed some improvements from January, but still continues to be at record lows in February, according to the latest data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday.
The San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos metro area reported 53,300 construction employees in February, 400 more than in January, but 800 less than in February 2011.
The 53,300 construction employment number for February of this year was also the second lowest number of employees in the San Diego metro area for any month in the last 10 years.
The lowest was in January of this year with 52,900 construction jobs.
Daniel Villao, state director for the California Construction Academy in association with the UCLA Labor Center, said a few things are influencing low construction employment.
“It’s mostly out of fear,” Villao said. “There is no new investment in the public sector. Municipalities are not starting new projects unless they already have bonding, like the schools in San Diego County.”
In the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metro area there were 56,100 construction employees in February — 900 more than last year, but 800 less than in February 2011.
The 55,200 employees in January of this year was the lowest number in any month over the last 10 years.
The Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine metro area had 65,500 construction employees in February, and additional 200 from January, but 1,300 fewer employees than a year ago.
The 65,500 employees in February was the tied for the second lowest in the last 10 years; January of this year had the lowest number of construction employees, with 65,300.
The one metro area showing a significant improvement – compared to others in Southern California – is the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale metro area. In February, that region had 105,700 construction employees.
This was 1,400 more than in January and 4,700 more than in February 2011. The 101,000 working employees in February of last year was the lowest number of workers in the last 10 years.
Villao said the private sector is being very cautious as well, but added he is seeing more collaborative and public-private partnerships helping some increases in construction employment.
“In Los Angeles you have the expansion of the Metrolink to LAX and the proposed Farmers Field,” Villao said.
Across California, there were 541,100 construction employees in February. This was 2,600 more than employees than in January, and 6,000 additional employees than in February 2011.
In the last 10 years, January 2011 had the lowest construction employment at 532,700 workers, while August 2006 had the highest number of construction employees, at 966,300.