With cranes dotting the Twin Cities landscape, an organization of private construction firms and local government agencies is looking to recruit more workers next week at what’s being called the state’s largest construction hiring event.
 
The Minnesota Construction Crew will host a networking event for skilled workers to meet with union and company leaders at the Minneapolis Convention Center from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday.
 
Despite the plethora of projects and the advertised need for more workers, Minnesota is one of only seven states to have lost construction jobs last year, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics list compiled by The Associated General Contractors of America.
 
Construction companies in 43 states and in the District of Columbia added jobs between January 2014 and January 2015, which economists attribute to a rebounding economy. Meanwhile, Minnesota lost 700 jobs, or about 0.7 percent of its 104,000-plus construction jobs.
 
Chad Rettke, president of Minnesota Construction Association, says the data contradicts the action being seen by area construction firms. “There are more projects going on now than I can ever remember at one time,” he said.
 
Labor shortage is a reason often given for rising construction costs.
 
“When the economy slowed, tradesmen took work in other sectors,” Rettke said. “Those coming in can’t yet handle the full workload, so there’s this gap.”
 
Rettke said some of the price pressure locally is due to less competition for work because “everyone has enough work on their plate, they can now be more selective.”
 
With less firms bidding on projects, developers are going to pay more for construction services, he said.
At Monday’s event, representatives will be present from the various trades, including electricians, roofers and carpenters.

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