Construction Emloyment Looks Bleak Again, Down 9,000 Jobs
Construction employment shows no hope of improving anytime soon. From May to June, the construction market dropped another 9,000 jobs. The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) report “said that declines in public sector construction activity will negate any pickup in private sector demand unless Congress and states promptly and fully fund needed infrastructure spending and streamline the approval process for public projects.”
Although the unemployment rate has fallen slightly, down to 15.6 from 20.1% June 2010, actual employment levels were only up 2,000 more than last year’s. The June 2011 employment total is at 5,513,000, still 29% below the peak in April 2006. “Even with the drop in the industry unemployment rate, the lack of hiring means that people are leaving construction, not going back into it,” Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist said. “That will make future expansion all the more difficult.”
Employment in heavy and civil engineering construction dropped again last month by 1,800 jobs in June, but this level was still 2.8% higher than last June. Residential building and specialty trade employment both dropped while nonresidential building and specialty trade contractors added jobs for the month.
“In the second half of 2011, there should be a strong gain in apartment and manufacturing construction; some improvement in construction of hospitals, distribution centers and hotel renovations; and ongoing strength in power and energy projects,” Simonson predicted. “But job creation in these niches may be swamped by further declines in public construction and continued weakness in single-family homebuilding, office and retail work.”
Source: Associated General Contractors of America