This story was originally published in Remodeling.

Construction employment increased in 65% of the metro areas analyzed by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) between February 2018 and February 2019, according to a report from the agency. In the past 12 months, employment grew in 232 metro areas, declined in 73 metros, and remained unchanged in 53 metro areas, AGC analysis of government data finds. The year-over-year increases in employment slightly slowed down from January figures. The AGC reported 275 metro areas added construction jobs from January 2018 to January 2019. The AGC reported employment increased in 275 metro areas compared to January 2019.

The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz., Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga., and Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas, metro areas added the most construction jobs year over year in pure numbers. Monroe, Mich., St. Cloud, Minn., and Chico, Calif., experienced the largest percentage increases in construction employment over the past 12 months.

Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calf., San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., reported the greatest employment declines in pure numbers during the past 12 months, while Danville, Ill., and Niles-Benton Harbor, Mich., reported the largest percentage declines in employment from February 2018 to February 2019.

Government data also indicates that construction spending increased 1.0% from January to February, with spending figures totaling $1.32 trillion in February. Residential construction spending increased 0.7% in the past month, but declined 3.4% compared to February 2018. Multifamily construction spending experienced a 7.5% increase year over year, while single-family construction spending and improvement spending both declined over the past 12 months.

“The spending increase in February follows an extremely strong 2.5 percent gain in January, which aligns with contractors’ reports that they were busy early in the year and expect to stay that way through 2019,” said AGC chief economist Ken Simonson. “The major challenge they face is finding enough workers.”

This story was originally published in Remodeling.