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Twenty-seven Percent Of Construction Firms Report Layoffs Since The Coronavirus As New Jobs Report Offers Early Snapshot Of The Losses

April 3, 2020

Association Survey Conducted This Week Suggests Industry’s Job Losses are Spreading Rapidly; Officials Call for Additional Federal Measures to Help Avoid Further Layoffs and Economic Pain

The fast-worsening covid-19 pandemic has triggered layoffs at more than a quarter of construction firms responding to an online survey released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. The finding, based on responses from earlier this week, contrasts with the government’s monthly employment report for March, which found that construction employment declined by 29,000 as of mid-March.

“The March employment data does a better job reflecting market conditions before the pandemic than it does the widespread disruptions that have occurred during the past few weeks,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. He noted that the federal employment figures are based on payrolls as of March 12, when relatively few states or individual owners had directed contractors to stop work. “Our survey, meanwhile, indicates rapidly deteriorating labor and market conditions for the construction sector.” 

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