The latest report on job losses in construction-related industries underscores the urgency of passing a job-boosting economic stimulus package focused on infrastructure, said Ken Simonson, chief economist for The Associated General Contractors of America.
“It is tragic that 3.5 million jobs have disappeared in the past 12 months and the unemployment rate has climbed to 7.6 percent,” Simonson said. “Construction workers have suffered far more than their share of that pain, accounting for 747,000 — or more than one-fifth — of the job cuts and an unemployment rate of 18.2 percent in January.”
Nonresidential builders and specialty trade contractors, along with heavy and civil engineering construction firms, have also had to lay off 309,000 workers, or nearly 7 percent of their workforce.
Employment in the nation’s nonresidential building construction industry suffered its worse monthly drop in more than 20 years as employers slashed 20,400 jobs in January, according to the Feb. 6 report released by the U.S Labor Department. Since January 2008, employment in nonresidential building construction has fallen by 57,000 jobs or 6.8 percent.
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