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The construction industry in Arizona, especially in greater Phoenix, has been hit hard recently.

The Phoenix Business Journal reports the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) said Arizona lost 2,200 construction jobs between March and April, more than half of which were in the Valley.

Arizona tied with Minnesota for the fourth-most jobs lost in the nation over that period. The losses also caused a 1.8 percent dip in employment month-over-month.

The struggling home-building sector was largely to blame for the job freeze, Ken Simonson, chief economist for AGCA, told the Business Journal.

New home permits Valleywide, for instance, were down again year-over-year in April by almost 16 percent despite a modest bump from March, according to RL Brown Reports.

Brand new construction projects, including home building, has seen employment drop at a rate of 7 percent year-over-year.

Simonson said the construction industry is highly cyclical and that it's more important to look at employment on a year-over-year basis, meaning it's too early to write off the sector already.

Despite the March-to-April decline, Arizona construction employment still was up a modest 600 jobs, or 0.5 percent, from a year ago, according to AGCA, which uses the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Arizona was among 39 states in April that posted increases in year-over-year construction employment.

KTAR.com,

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