Central Ohio has experienced significant growth in the construction sector, adding 6,100 jobs over the past year. This surge in employment surpasses that of almost every other city in the United States. The construction boom can be attributed to major projects undertaken by companies like Intel, Ohio State University, and others, which have kept the local construction industry bustling.

According to a report by the Associated General Contractors of America, the number of construction jobs in the Columbus area increased from 48,600 to 54,700 between May 2022 and May of this year. The data, sourced from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, also includes an estimated 3,000 jobs in the mining and logging sectors. Out of all the cities, only Dallas (11,600 jobs) and New York (9,600 jobs) surpassed Columbus in terms of new construction job additions during the same period. Additionally, Columbus exhibited the highest percentage gain in construction jobs among larger cities over the past year.

Ken Simonson, the chief economist of the AGC, highlighted the significant role played by Intel’s construction of two semiconductor factories in New Albany during the period covered by the report. Simonson noted that the Intel project progressed more rapidly than most large-scale projects, involving thousands of workers in the initial ground preparation phase alone. This project alone contributed significantly to the overall increase in construction jobs.

While the Intel project is anticipated to employ up to 7,000 construction workers until its completion in 2025, other factors are also contributing to the growth of construction employment in the region. Economist Bill Lafayette predicts that construction will be one of the few areas of employment growth in Columbus this year.

Presently, the Wexner Medical Center tower, a 26-story building situated on Route 315, represents the most active construction site in central Ohio. Brian Mooney, the general manager of the Ohio and Indiana region of Turner Construction Co., which oversees the hospital expansion with Walsh Construction, stated that approximately 1,100 construction workers are present on the site daily. Mooney emphasized that the construction market in Columbus is thriving due to the city’s expanding population, the abundance of healthcare facilities, and ongoing projects such as the Wexner Medical Center, Mount Carmel, and OhioHealth.

Simonson pointed out that one of the significant areas of growth for contractors in the past year has been in manufacturing, where construction employment has seen a 77% increase. Alongside Intel, various manufacturing projects have been initiated in central Ohio, involving companies such as Amgen, Ohio Steel Industries, Simpson Manufacturing, Vertiv, Pharmavite, Sofidel, and Honda’s battery production plant in Jeffersonville (which was not included in the AGC report due to its distance from Columbus).

Simonson also stated that multifamily projects have seen substantial activity, with the highest number of units currently under construction in history. Looking ahead, he anticipates a slowdown in construction sectors like warehouses and apartments, while others such as data centers and healthcare will become more active. All three experts—Simonson, Mooney, and Lafayette—expect construction employment to remain robust in the coming years, provided that employers can find a sufficient workforce.

Mooney added that the upcoming airport project at the John Glenn Columbus International Airport, slated to begin late next year, is on the horizon and will contribute further to the growth of the construction industry. He emphasized that every sector in the community, whether healthcare, commercial, or data centers, will remain highly active for at least the next three to five years.