The industry lost 2,000 jobs last month, 3,000 in March and 1,000 in February. But it has added an estimated 63,000 jobs during the last year, the General Contractors of America said.
There is good news - and bad - in
the latest construction employment figures analyzed by the Associated General
Contractors of America.
The industry lost 2,000 jobs last
month, 3,000 in March and 1,000 in February. But it has added an estimated
63,000 jobs during the last year and April construction unemployment was 14.5
percent - the lowest in four years, AGC officials said.
Ken Simonson, the
association’s chief economist, said the industry started losing jobs in
2006 - before the rest of the economy - and did not reach bottom until February
2011, a year after other sectors.
“It is tough to attract and retain workers when
employment gains are so spotty,” Simonson said. “With workers finding jobs in
other industries, retiring or returning to school, contractors face a potential
shortage of skilled workers in a year or two.”
A bright spot was that there were less former construction
workers on the unemployment line in April, he added.
“The plunge in the unemployment rate for former
construction workers from 17.8 percent in April 2011 and 21.8 percent two years
ago is good news for them,” Simonson said. “Unfortunately, few of them have
found jobs in construction, which actually employed 1,000 fewer workers than it
did in April 2010.”