The Bureau of Labor Statistics released seasonally adjusted employment numbers recently that showed construction employment falling by 76,000 jobs in July. The last 12 months have seen 1.05 million construction workers lose their jobs, emphasizing the negative impact the current economy is having on the construction industry in particular.
“Currently, 18.2 percent of construction
workers are unemployed, nearly double the 9.7 percent overall unemployment
rate, or 9.4 percent seasonally adjusted,” said Stephen Sandherr, chief
executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America.
He pointed out that while the stimulus
has helped prevent even greater job losses, the construction industry is
suffering from low demand for commercial facilities, dwindling orders for new
office buildings, declining state and local revenue, and the current economic
conditions as a whole, including tight credit markets.
“These job figures clearly point towards the continued need
for investment in the construction industry,” Sandherr stated. “With
stimulus funds slowly being spent, it is critical that both Congress and the
Administration focus on hastening the disbursement of these funds, particularly
for non-transportation stimulus construction projects. It is crucial that
the stimulus money quickly finds its way into the industry, or thousands more
construction workers will lose their jobs.”
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