Employment in Sacramento's construction sector continues to lag behind California and the nation as the state's building trades struggle with a fragile economy, an economist said on a visit to California's capital on Friday.
In a midday roundtable of construction and other officials Friday in Sacramento, construction economist Ken Simonson of the Associated General Contractors of America, or AGC, outlined the current state of the industry.
"The recovery we've seen is stronger in the coastal metro areas than inland," Simonson said. "There are a lot of budget challenges that could keep spending depressed in this area."
Indeed, as California's construction industry slowly pulls itself from 2009's depths, Sacramento employment in the sector fell 6 percent from April 2011 to April 2012, according to the AGC.
Construction jobs statewide dropped slightly -- 0.3 percent from April to April.
Head winds abound for California's building industry -- from the state's ongoing budget struggles to sluggish demand for retail, home and public construction and less federal spending for construction projects that helped keep the sector afloat in 2010 and 2011, Simonson said.
"The federal government outlook for construction funding is bleak. Local is even bleaker," he said.
There are a few positive signs, however, in warehouse and distribution, multifamily construction and in hospital projects, spurred by California's stringent seismic retrofit requirements and lower construction bond rates.
"The hospital market is huge in California," he said.
But frustrated workers are starting to leave construction for other opportunities.
"They're not sitting at home waiting for contractors to hire them," Simonson said.
Networkers hold workshop
Local networking group Sacramento Professional Network leads a free job search workshop Wednesday in Antelope.
The free workshop, "Getting Started with Your Job Search" will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sacramento Public Library's North Highlands- Antelope branch, 4235 Antelope Road.
The workshop, sponsored by Sacramento Public Library, covers a variety of topics from the local job market, resumes and cover letters to using the Internet and other tools to start and improve your job search.
Dress is business casual.
For more information, visit www.sacpronet.com, then select "event calendar."
Want to work for the state?
Job seekers can learn how to pursue state employment opportunities at the State Personnel Board's next lunchtime seminar.
The free noon workshop June 27 at 801 Capitol Mall guides job seekers in how to find job recruitments, complete applications and search for job vacancies among other tips.
For more information, visit www.spb.ca.gov, then select "Free state hiring process seminars."
Ask the job expert
Do you have career or job-hunting questions? Ask Terri Carpenter, one of our "Ask the Experts" writers who can answer your questions online.
As a veteran career counselor at the Sacramento Employment Training Agency, she has plenty of expertise in resume writing, job skills training and career counseling.
To post your question or see her advice, go to: www.sacbee.com/ask.
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