The Chicago area followed close behind battered Sun Belt metro areas in numbers of lost construction jobs in the downturn, according to an analysis released Tuesday by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville region lost 33 percent of its construction jobs, or 52,100 positions, between January of 2007 and this January, the sixth-greatest loss among metro areas, according to the group’s analysis of government data.
Phoenix lost the most, at 91,400, or 54 percent; followed by Las Vegas, 61,900, 61 percent; Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., 57,700, 51 percent; Atlanta, 57,700, 42 percent; and Los Angeles, 56,200, down 37 percent.
Nationally, 28 cities lost 50 percent or more of their construction jobs.
Overall, the construction downturn has left more than 2.2 million workers unemployed, giving the industry a 21.8 percent unemployment rate, the group said.
The organization also proposed a recovery plan that calls for a wide range of measures, from approving pending trade agreements to giving tax credits to encourage development.