WNY Builds Construction Sector

December 3, 2012 Updated Dec 3, 2012 at 10:07 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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December 3, 2012 Updated Dec 3, 2012 at 10:07 AM EDT

WNY (WKBW) - Construction employment in Buffalo Niagara grew by 8 percent over the past five years.

A new On Numbers report says those construction jobs are stirring the WNY economy. Buffalo is one of the nation's 40 strongest markets in the latest On Numbers economic index, a monthly measure of the economic health of all 102 U.S. metro areas with populations over 500,000.

The Buffalo area, which includes Erie and Niagara counties, ranked 14th in August, then slipped to 26th in September and 37th in October, which raised concerns.

But Buffalo moved up to 36th place for November, thanks to the healthy construction sector, stable home values and minimal job losses since the recession.

Oklahoma City is first in the report thanks to job growth. Other leaders include: Austin, Tulsa, Houston and Omaha.

Last week, Rich Products announced an $18.5 million investment in a new consumer innovation center at its Niagara Street headquarters. A report in this week's Business First shows how the global company could have made the investment anywhere in the world.

Choosing Buffalo is a vote of confidence that could go a long way in convincing other businesses to consider expansion plans. The new center should be ready in just over a year.