Postponed and Canceled Projects Proliferate, Yet Majority of Firms Report Difficulty Filling Hourly Craft Positions; Officials Urge Immediate Federal Action to Fund Infrastructure and Enact Liability Reforms
Construction employment increased by 16,000 jobs in August, but the gains were concentrated in housing, while the infrastructure and nonresidential building construction sector lost 11,000 jobs, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government data released today. The new jobs data comes as association officials reported that a survey of more than 2000 contractors it released this week found growing pessimism about a return to normal levels of construction business amid a proliferation of project cancellations.
“Construction is becoming a tale of two sectors, as homebuilding and limited nonresidential niches thrive but most other private, as well as public, construction shrinks,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “These employment numbers are in line with our survey, which found a plurality of construction firms expect it will take more than six months before their volume of business matches year-ago levels.”