Construction employment down across the US

By Chris Sleight11 March 2010

Employment in the construction industry fell in every state in the US between January 2009 and January 2010 according to data from the US Census Bureau. There were double digit percentage falls in 38 states as well as the District of Columbia (D.C.).

Commenting on the figures, Ken Simonson, chief economist at the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) said, "Construction employment is dropping everywhere and plummeting almost everywhere. Looking at this data, it is quite clear that the construction industry is yet to hit bottom.

The five states with the largest declines were Nevada (-29.9%), Arizona (-26.0%), Colorado (-22.2%), Idaho (-21.0%) and Florida (-20.4%). Meanwhile, the smallest declines were seen in North Dakota (-1.0%), Nebraska (-4.1%), Alaska (-4.2%), South Dakota (-5.9%) and Arkansas (-6.2%).

The AGC is urging lawmakers to address this issue with an extension to the national surface transportation bill and an acceleration of stimulus-funded construction projects. "As privately-funded construction activity continues to decline, federal investments in infrastructure are often the difference between a job and unemployment for what's left of the industry."

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