Not surprisingly, construction employment declined in most metropolitan areas from April 2008 to April 2009, which has prompted some to say it’s high time to use stimulus money to help the issue.
Ken Simonson, chief economist for Associated General Contractors of America, said the data shows a need for the federal government to move quickly with the stimulus money.
The largest declines in construction employment were in Redding, Calif., 31.6 percent; Pascagoula, Miss., 38.8 percent; Tucson, Ariz., 29.2 percent; and Reno-Sparks, Nev., 29.1 percent.
“Job loss figures like these are exactly what prompted Congress and the Administration to craft a stimulus package designed to put Americans back to work as quickly as possible,” Simonson said.
But, he is concerned that the Buy American provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is driving up the cost of some construction projects and delaying others.
“We need to make sure needless red tape and regulations don’t keep construction workers off the job,” he said. “There’s a real risk that Buy American provisions, for example, could undermine the very purpose of the stimulus – to get Americans working again.”