Construction employment in the District is at highest level in 22 years

Employment levels for construction workers in the District reached a 22-year high in August, according to a report released Thursday by the Associated General Contractors of America.

14,300 people were employed in construction jobs in Washington that month, a 14 percent increase from the same month last year.

Just four metropolitan areas across the nation exceeded the District’s growth in construction jobs in the one-year period between August 2011 and August 2012.

Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General  Contractors of America, said that the uptick may in part be explained by growth in the city’s population, which he said has helped fuel a boom in multifamily home construction. He also said growing private sector demand for new buildings played a role in creating these jobs.

Despite these positive signs in the District, Simonson said that the construction industry continues to struggle in other regions of the country. The national unemployment rate for these workers was11.3 percent, far higher than the 8.1 percent unemployment rate for all U.S. workers.

Sarah Halzack is The Washington Post's national retail reporter. She has previously covered the local job market and the business of talent and hiring. She has also served as a Web producer for business and economic news.

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