Unemployment in the construction industry rose to 17.3 percent in October 2010, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. Temporary government investments were able to boost commercial construction employment, offsetting further job losses in residential construction, said association officials.
“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, the association’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.”
The association found
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.
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, said AGC officials. They are urging Washington 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.
modest job gains are likely to be as temporary as the programs that are driving
them,” said Sandherr. “What this industry needs now is the certainty that comes
with consistent tax, regulatory and federal infrastructure policies and the
opportunity that comes from sustained and robust private sector economic
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