Construction unemployment rises to 18.8 percent

The construction unemployment rate jumped to 18.8 percent in November as the sector lost another 5,000 jobs since October, reports the Associated General Contractors of America. The data indicates the construction sector suffered more than any other industry during the economic downturn.

The construction industry lost 2.1 million jobs since employment in the sector peaked in August 2006. Since November 2009, the industry lost 117,000 jobs, while the private sector added 1.1 million jobs. Heavy and civil engineering construction was the only construction segment to add jobs in the past year.

Association officials said the stimulus and other temporary federal programs would begin winding down in 2011, most likely before private, state or local demand for construction pick up. They urged Congress and the Administration to act on a series of long-delayed infrastructure bills for water, transportation and other infrastructure programs.