The American Road and Transportation Builders Association reported a 2.4-percent drop in highway and bridge construction workers for May 2008. According to ARTBA’s Transportation Construction Industry Employment Report, approximately 357,400 workers were employed in highway and bridge work in May, a drop of 5,300 employees when compared with May 2007.
Increases in material prices are affecting employment, says Allison Premo Black, economist and vice president of policy, ARTBA. “The cost of doing business and procuring materials has increased sharply. These factors directly impact hiring decisions,” she says.
Black noted the drop was lower than that of total construction employment, which fell 5.4 percent during the same time period.