When it comes to construction and extraction (C&E) job opportunities, Baton Rouge, LA, is the place to be, according to apartment listing and research company Abodo's latest Cost and Opportunity ranking, with the most industry positions (99.5) per 1,000 jobs in the country.
When looking at cost of living, however, C&E workers in second-place Detroit got a bigger bang for their buck with a median wage of $53,790 and monthly one-bedroom rent of $525 in July. The median rent in Baton Rouge was $798, but C&E workers there made only $44,900.
Adobo said because the Bureau of Labor Statistics combines extraction and construction jobs, its listing is a combination of metros with robust construction activity and a healthy energy sector. A number of markets in the Great Lakes and Midwest, including Fort Wayne, IN, Toledo, OH, Oklahoma City and Cleveland were among the top 10.
Location matters and so construction pros reading this list should not assume they would fare just as well everywhere. Baton Rouge, for example, is an energy center, while Detroit is seeing growth in construction activity, particularly near the $863 million Red Wings Little Caesars Arena, underway downtown. Therefore, an oil extraction worker is better off in Baton Rouge — both in salary and in opportunity — than in Detroit.
CBRE reports there is $5.4 billion or more in real estate development and redevelopment underway or proposed for the greater Detroit metro area in the next three years. That includes more than 6,000 multifamily residential units as well as 1,196 hotel rooms and 2.1 million square feet of office space. The report includes more than 70 projects underway.
While the bulk of the development is for multifamily and office space, according to CBRE, the new Red Wings arena has captured attention.
Cost estimates for the project have nearly doubled since it began. However, more than $60 million of the difference is related to the Detroit Piston's decision to relocate to the new arena and to additional money the developer has put into surrounding development.
In total, the Ilitch family, which owns the Red Wings and founded the Little Caesars pizza chain, has invested more than $2 billion in the District Detroit redevelopment plan. The plan calls for new housing, offices and other mixed-use projects in a 50-block area around the arena.
That's not to say the construction sector can't benefit from gains in energy activity, too. Mortenson is one contractor making plays for work in the burgeoning renewable energy space, taking on projects like window farms and battery-storage facilities.