Construction Unemployment Rate Climbs to
November 8, 2010
According to an analysis of federal employment figures released
by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), though the
number of people working in construction increased by 5,000 between
September and October 2010, the industry's unemployment rate rose
to 17.3 percent. Temporary government investments boosted commercial
construction employment, offsetting further job losses in residential
construction, association officials noted.
"Despite significant help from programs like the BRAC and
the stimulus, construction employment continues to lag behind much
of the private sector," said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC's chief
executive officer. "It is yet another indicator that the economy
has a long way to grow before demand for new office buildings, retail
centers and manufacturing facilities returns."
Association officials noted that construction employment lagged
behind other sectors of the economy. For example, while total private
employment rose by 1.1 million during the past 12 months, the construction
industry lost 122,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the industry's unemployment
rate is nearly double the unadjusted national rate of 9.5 percent.
Nonresidential construction fared relatively well in October compared
to residential construction, association officials said. Nonresidential
construction employment added 10,300 jobs since September, while
residential construction lost 5,800 jobs. Nonresidential specialty
construction added 7,300 jobs and heavy & civil engineering
added 4,800 jobs. However, nonresidential building construction
employment declined by 1,800 jobs between September and October.
While the stimulus has helped protect the construction industry
from more severe job losses, construction firms were unlikely to
significantly expand payrolls until the long-term market outlook
improves, association officials said. They urged Washington officials
to act on long-delayed water and transportation infrastructure programs
and to provide the tax and regulatory relief needed to boost private
sector economic activity.
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