Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, reported that construction employment fell by 76,000 jobs in July, in reference to employment numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Meanwhile, the last 12 months have seen 1,053,000 construction workers lose their jobs, emphasizing the negative impact the current economy is having on the construction industry in particular,” Sandherr said. “Currently, 18.2 percent of construction workers are unemployed, nearly double the 9.7 percent overall unemployment rate, or 9.4 percent seasonally adjusted. While it is clear that the stimulus has helped prevent even greater job losses, it is apparent that 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. 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.”