Construction employment declined or was stagnant in 131, or 37 percent, of 358 metro areas between May 2015 and May 2016, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said. The data comes as years of underfunding have contributed to declining highway, transit and other public infrastructure just 60 years after President Eisenhower signed the first interstate highway act.
“Inadequate investment in infrastructure is a major reason for the spotty construction employment gains by metro,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. Simonson also noted that yesterday’s report on gross domestic product showed investment in structures by all levels of government as a share of the economy has fallen to less than half of what it was in the decade after the interstate highway program began, from 3.1 percent to 3.4 percent of GDP between1957 and 1967 to just 1.6 percent of GDP in the first quarter of this year.
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