Associated General Contractors’ Analysis Shows Construction Employment Declines by 16,000 in December
January 7, 2011

According to an analysis of federal employment figures released by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), employment in construction declined by 16,000 in December 2010 as the industry’s unemployment rate hit 20.7 percent. AGC notes that even as the industry continues to suffer from weak private sector demand the benefits of the temporary stimulus program appear to be winding down.

“At this point, it doesn’t look like there’s anything to replace the temporary help that the stimulus has been providing for the construction industry,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Today’s figures offer yet another reminder that the construction industry remains, and is likely to remain, the hardest-hit industry in the economy.”

Construction employment declined by 0.3 percent during the month, leaving only 5.6 million people employed in the industry, a 27-percent decline since employment in the industry peaked in August 2006 at 7.7 million, Simonson noted. He added that during the past 12 months the construction industry has lost 93,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the industry’s unemployment rate is more than double the overall, not seasonally adjusted, national unemployment rate of 9.1 percent.

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