Construction Employment Falls to 14-year Low
in June; Industry Unemployment Rate Tops 20 Percent
July 6, 2010
Seasonally adjusted construction industry employment slipped in
June to the lowest total since July 1996 while the industry's unemployment
rate remained at 20.1 percent, more than double the average for
all workers, according to analysis of new federal figures by the
Associated General Contractors of America.
"The recession may have ended a year ago for most of the economy,
but for construction, job losses and business closures continue
every month," said Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist.
"While the rest of the economy added nearly a million jobs
in the first half of 2010, 114,000 construction workers lost theirs,
joining the two million others who have become unemployed since
August 2006," Simonson said, adding that the industry added
49,000 jobs in March and April as homebuilders and highway contractors
geared up, but 30,000 jobs disappeared in May and 22,000 in June
as housing cooled and nonresidential building slumped further.
The outlook for nonresidential building construction remains ominous,
according to Simonson. In May, the latest month for which such data
is available, architectural firms laid off workers for the twenty-first
time in 22 months.
"If there's less work for architects now, there will be less
for building contractors to bid on and build in coming months,"
Simonson said. "In contrast, engineering and drafting firms,
which design infrastructure projects, added jobs three months in
a row through May."
"The stimulus has helped," said Stephen E. Sandherr,
AGC chief executive officer, "but any gains the industry experienced
will evaporate unless Congress and the Administration promptly enact
long-term spending bills for transportation, water, wastewater,
rivers and harbors."
Need more info and analysis about the issues?
HERE to subscribe to USGlass magazine.