The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports Knoxville has seen 3,100 new construction jobs in the last year, the third largest in growth according to one organization.
The Associated General Contractors of America said out of a survey of 337 metropolitan cities, Knoxville was ranked third largest in job growth, with 19% more construction jobs locally.
"Lot of projects were on the drawing boards for a while, and the architects have gotten those out now, and the projects have started construction," said Allan Cox, the vice president of Denark Construction.
Work at the new Northshore Town Center in West Knox County and repairing hail-battered homes from the April 2011 storms helped with the surge in jobs, according to Cox. AGC spokesperson told 10News Knoxville is classified as a "med and ed" market, where construction and renovations at hospitals and universities have driven the job market even higher.
Cox said there is still work that needs to be done in Greater Knoxville.
"The private sector is still struggling a little bit, but the commercial section, like I was saying, particularly higher education, is really strong right now," he said.
Many of the construction jobs are contracted, meaning they are temporary. While Denark has full time employees, Cox said the drive for further construction will continue through the year.
"Talk about what we're going to do -- what's out there, and right now I'm still tracking almost $300 million-worth of projects that could come to fruition within the next four months," Cox said.
Chuck Blansit, who works at the Northshore Town Center construction site, is one of the 3,100 new workers. He's been on the job working on piping and landscaping for a few months.
"It's not more of the paycheck that I'm worried about. I like getting the job done," Blansit said.
Here is a list compiled from the AGC of the most improved construction job markets:
- Bakersfield-Delano, CA - 22%
- Indianapolis-Carmel, IN - 20%
- Knoxville, TN - 19%
- Fargo, ND/MN - 18%
- Grand Forks, ND/MN & San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA - 16%
For a complete list, visit the AGC website