Monday, June 15, 2009

AGC: Construction unemployment reaches 19.2%

Building Design and Construction
June 5, 2009

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 today.

Simonson, who discussed the significance of the new jobs data during a media conference call with contractors from across the country, said 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, the chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, said. “Simply put, the unemployment rate for construction in May was horrendous.”

Simonson said that the construction employment figures would likely have been worse if not for the stimulus. “The stimulus is doing its job putting men and women back to work,” and, “It is boosting opportunity and generating economic activity in an increasingly broad geographic area.”

Read Simonson's remarks at:

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