More than 1,400 new construction jobs were created in the Washington area last year as the construction boom gained momentum, but it was not enough to offset the economic slowdown in the region, according to a new report.
The report, published Thursday by the Georgetown University Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, also found that job growth in the state was actually down 1.2 percent in May compared to the same month in 2017.
And the number of people who are now employed in Washington-area construction has fallen since March from 6,500 to 4,400.
The Georgetown report also found there was a sharp decline in construction job openings in the first half of 2018, and that those numbers will continue to drop over the next few years.
“It’s not a good sign for our economy,” said Mike Tindall, the CEO of the Georgetown Center on the Budget and Power.
“The economy’s not growing fast enough.
We need to have a lot more infrastructure and we need to get a lot of things done in Washington, D.C., and not just the big cities.”
A total of 6,829 jobs were added to the region’s labor force in the third quarter, according the report, with construction jobs up 4 percent from the same quarter last year.
The region added 7,200 construction jobs in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Construction activity in the nation’s capital was up about 9 percent over the same time period, but that number is expected to drop further over the coming years, according a recent Brookings Institution report.
In the meantime, a slowdown in construction and a drop in employment have hurt the economy in other states, according Tindland.
The Brookings report found that the number is down by 3.7 percent in Alabama, by 6.1 percent in North Dakota, and by 5.4 percent in Mississippi.
The numbers were similar for Georgia, with the region shedding 5.5 percent in the latest quarter.
The slowdown in job creation was especially pronounced in states that have been hit by the Great Recession.
For example, Alabama added a total of 2,000 construction jobs during the first six months of 2018 and the state is expected only to add 1,000 jobs in 2020.
And jobs in Ohio, which has been hit particularly hard by the downturn, were down by nearly 5 percent.
“These are places that are in trouble,” Tindalls said.
“And we’re not seeing the recovery that we need.”
The report also said that construction job growth was lower in some states that were experiencing a slowdown due to the opioid epidemic, such as Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The state of Kentucky added about 2,700 construction jobs last month, and the national average is expected in 2020 to be around 2,400, the report found.
The slow job growth is causing some states to struggle with the recession-related effects of the Great Depression.
In fact, Kentucky is among the states that has seen the largest job loss in construction, according for the report.
For construction workers in Kentucky, the job loss has led to an economic downturn in the country’s second-largest economy, the Brookings report said.
Job losses in the industry are largely due to a decline in the number and size of workers and the increase in the cost of goods and services.
The economic downturn has caused a sharp drop in construction activity.
But a new economic study released Thursday by Georgetown University’s Center on Business and Economic Research found that construction is on track to rebound by 2020, which could help the region regain some of the lost ground.
The study found that there are now about 13,000 more construction jobs than in the second quarter of 2018.
The surge in construction in the last few years is likely to help lift the economy and provide jobs to the local workers, Tindellas said.
The regional economy “has been very strong, and it’s going to be stronger again,” Tinsley said.
But there are concerns about whether or not the economy will continue its upward trajectory.
“We’re not going to recover,” Tindal said.
He cited the fact that unemployment is now at 7.9 percent in Kentucky.