Construction employment increased in 92% of 358 metro areas analyzed between April and May, according to analysis of government data by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Expansion between April and May represents a significant turnaround for the construction industry after employment decreased in 326 metros during the month of April.

The expansion in employment coincides with easing coronavirus restrictions across the United States. A recent AGC survey indicated construction activity was beginning to return to pre-coronavirus levels in many parts of the country. Data from Procore suggested activity had returned to pre-pandemic levels in 34 states and AGC data suggested fewer than 10% of firms furloughed or terminated workers since the beginning of June, with 12% of firms adding to their workforce.

Despite strong employment gains between April and May, including positive growth in 45 states, the AGC believes the employment increase could be short-lived. According to the AGC, only one-fifth of firms reported winning new or expanded projects and one in four contractors reported projects slated for June or later have been canceled.

Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. added the most construction jobs in pure numbers on a month-over-month basis, followed by New York City and Pittsburgh, Pa.