Thousands of construction jobs lost in Arizona - WNEM TV 5

Thousands of construction jobs lost in Arizona

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Arizona has one of the highest job loss rates in the country for construction workers. That's according to a new report by the Association of General Contractors.

Driving around Tucson, you'll see several construction projects. The biggest one to make the news is the premium outlets off of I-10 and Twin Peaks.

But a local expert says Arizona isn't very competitive when it comes to bringing outside business and that is what is needed for construction to turn around.

Between July 2013 and July 2014, Arizona lost 5,900 construction jobs. That's 4.8 percent of the construction jobs in the state.

But neighboring states are seeing a boom. California, for instance, had its construction workforce grow by 22,600 jobs.

The project director at Sundt, a local construction company, says this has been the trend since 2008.

Sundt's Kurt Wadlington says there have also been some political challenges in bringing outside investors into the state.

He says 5,900 jobs won't cripple the market here, but that it's just a sign of how thing are.

"Here in Tucson, university construction, the U of A, is one of the most significant market drivers here. The fact that there has been a significant decrease in university funding for construction has really impacted our construction market here,” Wadlington said.

He says there are talks of construction projects in the pipeline, but that something needs to be done to bring more businesses here.

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