Unemployment in the construction sector climbed to a “horrendous” 19.2 percent (not-seasonally adjusted) as an additional 59,000 construction workers lost their jobs in May according to new federal data, said construction economist Ken Simonson. He discussed the significance of the new jobs data during an Associated General Contractors of America media conference call with contractors from across the country.
He reported that construction employment has declined by
990,000 jobs, or 14 percent, in the past year while overall nonfarm employment
has declined by 4 percent. “Construction continues to bear a disproportionate
share of the pain from the recession,” Simonson said. “Simply put, the
unemployment rate for construction in May was horrendous.”
Construction employment figures would likely have been
worse if not for the stimulus, he admitted, and sited examples of companies
adding to payroll because of stimuls-funded projects/contracts.
“The stimulus is doing its job putting men and women
back to work,” said Simonson. “It is boosting opportunity and generating
economic activity in an increasingly broad geographic area.”
To read Simonson's full remarks, click
1.4 Million Construction Workers Unemployed Since Early '07
June 8, 2009