Construction Unemployment Up Again

Nancy Anderson
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At the tail end of the previous federal stimulus spending, the construction industry is still seeing a decline in construction employment. Between December 2010 and January 2011, the industry lost another 35,000 construction jobs due mostly to the current economic climate.

While it could be argued that what the statistics are showing is merely further indication of the yearly seasonal dip, it should be noted that overall, the United States added 1.3 million jobs in the private sectors over the course of 2010, where the construction sector lost another 130,000 in the same period. Where the demand for homes seems to have increased slightly, adding 3500 jobs in that sector, non-residential demand continues to slide, with 35,300 jobs lost in December-January.

2011 is still pretty fresh, but with the unemployment rate at 22.5% -- more than twice the national average -- it seems there’s still a long way to go until we can safely say that the industry is well on its way to economic recovery. So far as the congress is concerned, it doesn’t look like much help is coming, either, with proposed spending cuts reducing the amount of available funding for infrastructure by 17%. The industry, and the economy as a whole, is not likely going to make much of a recovery when more people are put out of work, and the nation’s aging infrastructure continues to crumble, and goes unrepaired.

Photo courtesy user ryan grifis, used under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License 2.0 (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Mike Wrightly is mostly diesel fumes and duct tape; he grew up around heavy equipment, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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