Record fall in US construction jobs

By Chris Sleight10 June 2008

The latest figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows employment in the US construction industry fell to 7.26 million jobs in May. This was -5.05% lower than in May 2007, the biggest year-on-year decline in over a decade. This was the lowest industry employment has been since May 2005, but still well above the trough seen in the last cycle in March 2003, when 6.65 million people were employed in the US construction industry.

Employment in the US construction industry has declined every month since last April when it stood at 7.66 million jobs. The most recent high in employment in the industry was in January last year when 7.73 million people were employed in construction.

This was well above the peak of the previous cycle in, when, in March 2001, 6,86 million people were employed in the US construction industry. However, the decline over the next two years was relatively mild, with a fall in industry employment of just -3.1% between the peak and the trough. Employment in the US construction industry has already fallen -6.1% from the most recent peak, in January 2007.

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