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Report: Arizona construction industry continues to grow

Data shows 4,500 jobs added in June
Posted: 4:19 PM, Jul 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-20 20:13:09-04
Report: Arizona construction industry growing
Report: Arizona construction industry growing

The construction industry is booming in Arizona, according to a new report.

Data from the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity shows the construction sector has grown significantly in June, bringing 4,500 jobs to the state.

David Godlewski, president of the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association in Tucson, says this is due to a variety of factors.

"Job growth, people feeling better and more optimistic about the economy," Godlewski said. "So it's not a surprise, but it's long overdue I can tell you that."

According to the data, construction showed the highest growth for June, and the second highest growth among other sectors this year, with nearly 14,800 jobs added.

The growth is visible in commercial and residential construction projects around southern Arizona.

Despite some improvement, the industry is still facing challenges, Godlewski says.

Recent natural disasters lead to increased costs for materials. That, along with increased land and labor costs, are keeping the prices of new homes higher, he said.

RELATED: New home prices rise to more than $300k for the first time in Tucson

There's also a shortage of labor workers who left during the recession, which is leading to the slow recovery Arizona is now seeing. 

"If you look at a 20-year average for home construction in Southern Arizona, we should be building about 4,000 or 5,000 homes a year," Godlewski said. "This year, we'll hit probably 3,000, 3300 homes. So we've still got a ways to go."

RELATED: Sellers' market means fewer options for renters in Tucson

Godlewski says summer is typically a slower time for construction, but these numbers are a good sign for the economy.