Nonresidential Construction Job Losses Mount
in December 2009
January 8, 2010
The Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. (ABC) has issued a
statement saying that for 2009, the employment situation for the
nonresidential building construction sector ended the year with
a loss of 7,700 jobs in December, according to the January 8 report
by the U.S. Labor Department. For all of 2009, nonresidential building
construction shed 105,300 jobs, or 13.1 percent, to bring employment
According to the release, jobs fell across the board as nonresidential
specialty trade contractor employment fell by 8,800 jobs in December.
The sector has lost 388,000 jobs, or 15.8 percent, since December
2008. Residential building construction lost 3,800 jobs in December
and lost 98,000 jobs, or 12.7 percent, since the same time last
year. The construction industry as a whole has lost 53,000 jobs
for the month and 934,000, or 13.7 percent, for the year. Job losses
in the construction industry accounted for more than half of the
net job loss in the United States in December. Since the beginning
of the recession in December 2007, employment in the construction
industry has fallen by 1.6 million.
"This was not a promising report," says ABC chief economist
Anirban Basu. "Many economists believed that the U.S. economy
would actually add jobs in December. Instead, the labor market was
unable to sustain the momentum that had been building for several
months, including in November when the nation added jobs for the
first time since late 2007."
Basu continues, "The employment report was particularly negative
for the nonresidential construction sector. Some of the job losses
were due to unseasonably cold temperatures in certain parts of the
nation in December. Of the 53,000 construction jobs lost in December,
roughly half could be attributed to weather. Nevertheless, the construction
jobs report remains consistent with the notion that the nation's
nonresidential construction industry sector remains mired in its
own recession," says Basu.
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