Unemployment rate drops, but no cause for celebration

While the national unemployment rate falls to 8.6 percent, building and construction trades workers continue to confront an unemployment rate that is exceeding 13 percent nationwide

Mark H. Ayers, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, on Dec. 2 delivered the following statement on the release of the November 2011 jobs report by the U.S. Department of Labor:

“The fact that our nation’s overall unemployment rate has dropped to 8.6 percent is, indeed, cause for optimism. However, there are no celebrations being planned throughout the U.S. construction industry today. And that’s because today’s report also indicates that the 13.1 percent national unemployment rate for construction workers is relatively unchanged from the month of October.

“This should serve as a stern wake-up call for our nation’s elected leaders to put partisan differences aside and work towards crafting innovative investment solutions to the current state of our nation’s infrastructure – solutions that would, once again, acknowledge the critically pivotal role that infrastructure and the construction industry play in the health of the U.S. economy. The time to act is now!”