D.C.'s construction industry hit the highest level of employment in 22 years, as local employers added construction jobs in August at a faster rate than any state and all but four other metro areas, according to an analysis released by the Associated General Contractors of America on Thursday.
The District added 1,800 construction jobs between August 2011 and August 2012, a 14 percent increase while many other metro areas lost construction jobs thanks to declining public sector demand. The rate ranks fifth out of 337 metro areas and higher than any state, according to the news release.
"The District has experienced one of the most significant construction rebounds of any metropolitan area in the country," said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America. "Unfortunately, for every area like D.C. that is adding new construction jobs, there are more where construction employment is in decline."
The city, however, has not been immune from the construction downturn. Between November 2008 and February 2010, the District lost 3,600 construction jobs, a 27 percent decline, according to the contractors association. Suburban areas fared worse, with construction employment down between 25 and 30 percent in Northern Virginia and the Maryland suburbs.
The suburbs haven't had D.C.'s luck during the recovery period -- Northern Virginia and Bethesda lost 900 construction jobs over the past year while Prince George's County lost 300.