It’s certainly not as strong a sector as it was during the height of the real estate boom two or three years ago, but the construction industry still employs 15,300 workers in Colorado Springs.

The loss of 1,600 jobs during June compared to the same month last year represents a mere 9.5 percent work force reduction, according to an Associated General Contractors report issued Tuesday.

That compares favorably with metro communities like Denver-Aurora-Broomfield which have seen an almost 15 percent decrease – or about 14,200 jobs – on a year-over-year basis.

Boulder saw a 13.4 percent drop in construction-related employment, and Pueblo registered a 10 percent loss as well on a year-over-year basis.

Colorado ranked 33rd on AGC’s list of states for construction employment, showing a 15.4 percent drop in hiring through June for the prior 12 months. North Dakota was first with a net gain 5.2 percent or 1,100 new hires.

The worst employment statistics reflected losses as great as 26 percent in Arizona, 23 percent in Nevada, 22 percent in Connecticut and 20 percent in Tennessee, said Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist.

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“Single-family homebuilders appear finally to have touched bottom and should begin hiring on next,” Simonson commented. “However, the multi-family market remains moribund, with weak demand, excessive supply in many states and no credit availability.”