Louisville added 3,500 construction jobs in 2014 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville added 3,500 construction jobs in 2014

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville's construction industry added 3,500 jobs in 2014, according to new data released by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America.

The non-profit organization monitors around 400 of the major metros across the US, ranking Louisville 15th in construction job growth.

According to the data, Louisville saw a 15 percent increase in new construction jobs from December 2013 to December 2014.

Mike Shull, a construction attorney for Frost Brown Todd and president of the Construction Financial Management Association of Kentuckiana, said the increase is a good sign for the Louisville economy.

"Construction jobs are the foreshadowing of what's to come," he said. "Once that project is finished, there will be permanent employees working there."

Shull credits a majority of the growth to the Ohio River Bridges Project, but sees other major projects as contributors.

"The bridges project has probably added 2,000 construction jobs and its a 3.5 year project," he said, also crediting the recent hotel boom in downtown Louisville and projects at the University of Louisville, LG&E and Ford. "A lot of things have come together to give us this boost."

Co-owner of Louisville-based Metro Fence says they added five jobs last year, and he plans to add five more by the end of 2015.

"The past 12 months we've had to hire five new people," he said. "Four of whom were on unemployment at the time."

Metro Fence is one of many companies contracted to work on the Ohio River Bridges Project. Gumlaw says it has kept them busy, but he doesn't give it full credit for the increase in jobs.

"We've seen our sales go up this year because of the bridges project, but we've also improved every year so I think that just had to do with the overall economy getting better here locally."

According to AGC of America, Louisville ranked higher than benchmark cities like Indianapolis, Nashville, Charlotte and Cincinnati.

Nashville ranked 53rd, while Cincinnati and Indianapolis came in at 115th.

Owensboro, Kentucky ranked near the bottom, with a four percent drop over the previous year.

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