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Columbia shows decrease in construction jobs

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Columbia showed the second-largest number of construction job losses in the U.S. from October 2016 to October 2017, according to data from the Associated General Contractors of America. Columbia lost 3,100 jobs during that time. Houston was No. 1 with 7,900.

The contractors group showed an increase of jobs in 243 out of 358 metro areas. Association officials said the best way to ensure metro areas continue to add construction jobs is to treat small- and medium-sized employers fairly and include new infrastructure funding as part of federal tax reform.

"Growing demand, especially from the private sector, is continuing to drive construction employment gains in many parts of the country," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist in a press release. "The tax reform proposals now being debated in Washington can do even more to help ensure that metro areas will continue to add new construction jobs.”

Columbia also had the second-largest percentage decrease for the year with 11%. Much of that can be attributed to the shutdown of construction at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Plant, a project of SCE&G and Santee Cooper.

Association officials said there was still time to improve the federal tax reform measure.

"Lowering the tax burden on many small- and medium-sized employers and including new infrastructure funding will bring immediate and widespread benefits to local economies across the country," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer. "That is why the construction employers and workers our association represents are committed to helping ensure any final tax reform measure actually helps support continued construction job growth."

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