Construction Layoffs Spread Rapidly As Coronavirus Shuts Down Projects In Contrast To Job Gains Through February In Most Metros

Association Officials Urge Quick Enactment of Infrastructure Investment, Relief for Hard-Hit Firms and Pensions in Order to Save Jobs in Construction and Supplier Industries

More than a quarter of construction firms responding to an online survey conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America last week reported they had furloughed or terminated jobsite workers because of the coronavirus pandemic. The finding contrasts starkly with the association’s analysis of government data released today that showed a majority of the nation’s metro areas added construction jobs through February.

“The metro-level employment data show that construction was still growing strongly in many parts of the country in February, immediately before the pandemic forced contractors to shut down projects and lay off workers,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “In contrast, our survey, completed less than a week ago, found that a majority of respondents had been told by owners or government agencies to cease work.” Click here for additional video comments from Mr. Simonson regarding last week’s survey.

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