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Construction industry sheds another 32,000 jobs

Tue, Feb 8, 2011

News

Construction unemployment reached 22.5 percent in January, up from 20.7 percent in December, according to the latest data from the Associated General Contractors of America.

The industry lost another 32,000 jobs in January, according to the report.

The weather, weak demand, and the stimulus winding down all contributed to ongoing weakness in the sector.

“The construction industry is still suffering from the same economic conditions that kept its unemployment rate so high last year,” said Chief Economist Ken Simonson. “With stimulus work starting to dry up, Congress proposing major funding cuts, and private demand still weak, it’s hard to see how the industry will add jobs this year.”

The non-residential construction sector accounted for 21,000 of the job losses, and in a prepared statement, CEO Stephen Sandherr was critical of federal proposals to cut investments in infrastructure.

“It is hard to understand how putting more people out of work and allowing aging infrastructure to deteriorate further is going to boost economic activity or cut the deficit,” he said. “Less tax revenue, higher unemployment costs, and growing repair bills for roads, bridges, water systems and airports will only grow the deficit and add to our national debt.”

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