Construction Unemployment Tops 20% in December

Nancy Anderson
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More bad news from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, confirming what most of us already knew: Construction employment declined further into the month of December 2010.

In that month, 16,000 people employed in the construction industry lost their jobs, bringing the unemployment rate for the sector up to 20.7% nationwide. The average unemployment rate across the board, without being adjusted for seasonal fluctuation, was 9.1% for the same period. There are a number of reasons that unemployment in the sector is as high as it is, included the standard adjustment that needs to be made for seasonal construction positions that simply aren’t available during the winter months.

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) surmised in a press release that the chief reason for the jump in unemployment is that government funding programs for infrastructures are coming to an end, and little to no additional funding has been guaranteed by the incoming congress. Add to this the fact that contractors are being squeezed on the prices of materials without seeing a related increase in the value of delivered goods, and you can see that the industry is in serious need of some support to get the 1.7 million unemployed construction workers in the country back on the job.

Mike Wrightly is mostly diesel fumes and duct tape; he grew up around heavy equipment, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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