Construction employers added 5,000 jobs in September while the industry’s unemployment rate hit 11.9 percent, according to an analysis of new federal data released this week by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said construction employment has been relatively flat for more than a year as growing demand for residential and commercial projects has been offset by declining public sector construction activity.
Construction firms employed 5,523,000 people in September, up from 5,518,000 in August. However, the sector’s overall employment in September was 5,000 lower than a year ago. The construction industry peaked at 7.7 million workers in 2006.
AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr noted that more than two million former construction workers have left the industry and that they will not be easy to replace since many workers either retired or left to find employment in other fast-growing industries.